Ealing Trailfinders boss Mike Cudmore was left frustrated after his team failed to take away at least a losing bonus point from a closely fought match against Bristol.
Ealing took the lead through an early interception but were almost immediately pegged back as ill-discipline and poor set-pieces eventually cost his team the chance to increase their current five-point tally.
“Considering we didn’t have a scrum or a lineout and made lots of errors, including conceding 14 points whilst we were down to ten men, I suppose it wasn’t a bad day,” said Cudmore.
“I think a lot of our errors were unforced, people taking their eye off the ball or spilling the ball in contact. If your lineout and scrum are erratic, and your kicking game allows them easy metres back at you, then you’ll struggle.
“I think we defended well and were good in possession when we finally got it. We did well in the second half and just couldn’t get that second try.
“I think a point for us, considering how we played and how hard we worked, would have been justified.”
The first half of the game was punctuated by numerous penalties against the Vallis Way side, including a yellow card for captain Adam Preopcanin and a penalty try, and whilst Cudmore was disappointed in his teams discipline, he also feels that they are unfairly targeted at times by referees.
He said: “In the first half some of our penalty discipline was poor. When you’re a bottom of the table team against a side like Bristol, unfortunately there’s a perception that if something’s going wrong, it’s probably your fault.
“I do think sometimes we are harshly treated. If you look at our scrum when our props were allegedly doing something wrong, we were penalised instantly. When Bristol did something wrong, they got two warnings.
“I’d like a bit more fairness there but if the referee’s on your case then you need to work with him. You make sure you don’t get the wrong side of him and you help him. I felt we did that much better in the second half and we saw the result.”
Ealing now have a two week break before they travel to Nottingham on January 5, however according to Cudmore, the players will be doing anything but relaxing over the festive period.
He said: “There’s no rest for them over Christmas. We’ll give the boys about a week’s shut down but they’ll all have a program to work on. We’ll be training New Year’s Day and then on the Thursday so there’s no rest for them.
“We’ve got to go up there and target teams like Nottingham who are under pressure like us. The most important thing for us as a team now is to go into every game and try and take at least a point. We start from one point and work our way up – that’s the way we’ve got to look at it.”