Geordan Murphy says the Leicester Tigers players will have to “take their medicine” after elimination from the Anglo-Welsh Cup, but also learn from the experience of playing in the tournament.
Defending champions Tigers missed out on a place in the semi-finals of a tournament the club won for a record third time last season following a 50-28 defeat at Wasps on Sunday. Instead, Newcastle Falcons topped Pool 4 and will travel to Exeter Chiefs in the knockout stages.
“It was pretty poor,” said coach Murphy. “You cannot afford to make individual errors. Every time they got in behind us, they were composed and scored.
“We take our medicine, we weren’t good enough. We have to go away and review that, and the players realise the level they have to be at.
“If young players have learned that is the level they need to get to, then hopefully that can be a good thing.”
Tigers had five teenagers in the matchday 23, including 17-year-olds Will Yarnell and Henri Lavin, and ran in tries from Harry Simmons (2), Luke Hamilton and Jonah Holmes, but four tries in a 15-minute spell before half-time from Wasps put the hosts on the front foot and they claimed four more after the break.
“The competition is all about developing young players,” added Murphy. “Ideally, you want a mix of some steel and experience with the younger guys. With the nature of the game, with 11 players away with their countries and with some injuries, and a six-day turnaround before Gloucester next week, our playing squad was stretched a bit. That is no excuse and we wanted to do better for each other.
“It is incredibly disappointing and embarrassing to concede that many points but with 10 minutes to go we’re just 12 points down and I'm saying we have to go for it, we’ll get nothing if we just chip away. We were chasing the game and Wasps can be dangerous when you do that.”