Kieran Campbell has told his Ulster Ravens side to pounce on their opportunities if they are to fly high in this season’s British and Irish Cup.
The Ulstermen slipped to defeat at the Talbot Athletic ground on Saturday after a try from Rhuaidri Murphy had helped them to a commanding 11-3 lead.
Referee Matthew O’Grady sent three Wizards’ players to the sin-bin during the tie, but the Ravens could not take advantage, as their fate was sealed by a Rob Dudley-Jones double.
Campbell’s men lost the war of attrition in South Wales, as the Principality Premiership strugglers proved near impossible to wear down.
Campbell said: “After a reasonably dominant first half we didn’t take the opportunities we created. “To only come in at 11-10 at half time was very disappointing and unfortunately our lack of ability to take our opportunities in the green zone really cost us.
“I think it was a mixture of two things - our inability to finish off the opportunities we created, but also our lack of respect for the ball in the collision area.
“We were turned-over far too much and it was our inability to retain the ball which ultimately cost us the game.”
The Ravens welcome Yorkshire Carnegie to Northern Ireland next before another test against fellow Championship side Rotherham Titans.
Campbell was encouraged by the performance of his side that included four Ulster academy prospects. But he did admit that they will have to stop coughing up possession if they are to pass the English tests awaiting them later this month.
He said: “There were some strong performances. I thought Peter Nelson who had just come back from a serious back injury played very, very well in the second half.”
“We’re going to have to be a lot more clinical. We can’t keep creating this amount of opportunities and not take them.”
“I think the second thing though is obviously the amount of turn-overs we conceded today, we need to look at ourselves in the collision area.”