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Falcons frustrated after late blow

Newcastle director of rugby Alan Tait bemoaned his side's bad luck as the Falcons remained anchored at the foot of the Aviva Premiership following defeat to Leicester.

The Falcons conceded a Steve Mafi try three minutes from time to trail 27-26 and were controversially denied a penalty in the closing seconds as they pressed for the win.

"It's disappointing," said Tait. "You just wonder if it had been the other way around with Leicester chasing and putting on the pressure, and then us getting bodies in the way, would it have been giving away a penalty?"

He added: "It's really tough for the boys. We scored three good tries, but to be fair we let Leicester have another soft try and we have to cut out these soft tries otherwise we're going to make it difficult for ourselves every week.

"Effort-wise the boys were fantastic. They're absolutely drained and that's all we can ask of them. If they come off that field and have expressed themselves and given absolutely everything and are out on their feet we can't ask for anything more."

Tait's opposite number Richard Cockerill appeared to agree that his team had been on the receiving end of the luck at the end of the game.

"It's the same as it has been for the last two weeks," said Cockerill. "We've played well enough in parts to win the game and then played poorly enough in other parts to give it away. It's been the story of the last three weeks.

"We could have lost the game today pretty easily, but we could have won the game last week or the week before just as easily so you just have to keep working hard.

"We kept playing and made some mistakes, but we were in it right to the death and if you do that you hope your luck will change and it did today.

"Newcastle could have won it and I feel for them but we have had some tight calls against us in the past. This week it went with us and that's the game."

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