Head coach Lyn Jones has laid blame for London Welsh’s 29-19 defeat to Wasps at Adams Park on the Exiles’ poor start.
The Exiles gave the home side an eight-point lead on Sunday, rekindling memories of their first few weeks in the Aviva Premiership.
Despite a much improved second half performance, which included tries from Phil MacKenzie and Franck Montanella, the Exiles were denied a losing bonus point by Lee Thomas’ 80th minute penalty, just two minutes after Gordon Ross had kicked Welsh into bonus point territory.
“It’s not about the last minute of the game, it’s about the first 20 and we went 8-0 down through some poor decisions from us. We have to be a lot tidier and cleaner in our game early on,” said Jones.
“Unforced errors are the difference between being a Championship player and a Premiership player. The players are adapting to the intensity and the responsibility – individual errors will cost you points and lots of yards.”
The Exiles remain in tenth place in the Aviva Premiership table, but now enjoy just an eight point lead over bottom placed side Sale Sharks, who picked up a losing bonus at Worcester on Friday night.
Jones admitted that bonus points will be crucial and Welsh were disappointed not to come away with one from Adams Park.
“The mood in the changing room is one of huge disappointment, not so much at losing but throwing away a bonus point,” he said.
“The player in question has put his hand up and apologised to the players for his actions, but things happen.
“We all appreciate that bonus points are vital in the league and much sort after, but it’s gone, it’s finished and we have to move forwards and learn our lessons.
“There was a big effort from our players and you can’t ask much more from your players if they’re giving you 100 per cent. We put some good rugby together but then we let ourselves down sometimes.
“We’ve got Bath next week and what’s important is how we turn up for Bath. They’re a very good side with some good overseas signings.”
While Welsh held their own in most departments against Wasps, they were undone by the sheer pace of wingers Tom Varndell and Christian Wade, who crossed for two tries a piece.
“Their back three was the difference in the game – they were very good and hugely influential,” said Jones.
“I thought their opportunities were 50-50, but they still took them, and that’s what you pay backs big bucks for. Those instances get you bonus points and get you wins.”