Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder was thrilled by his side’s attacking play but let down by their defensive work against Newcastle.
Saints did run in five tries but also conceded four as the Falcons refused to be put away on Friday evening at Franklin’s Gardens.
Conceding over 30 points hasn’t happened often for Northampton in recent times, as an entertaining contest ended 39-31.
“In attack there were moments of brilliance, we scored some good tries and could have had two or three more, so there was some very pleasing aspects to our attacking play, but our defence was very disappointing,” said Mallinder.
“I think we have conceded more tries this last couple of weeks than we have all season, we need to sharpen up in that area.
“I think a lot of it is mental, we need to make sure we don’t concede from first phase and from as many mauls as we did today.
“Credit to Newcastle they did it last week against Saracens and did it again this week and pushed us close.
“We have threats all over the field, we are playing pretty well, but not outstanding, so it is pleasing to take five points.”
Despite the loss, Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards was thrilled that his side are starting to show greater attacking initiative in their play, with coach Dave Walder’s input starting to bear fruit.
“We have a great crop of youngsters coming through and they are holding their own in the top flight,” said Richards.
“That pleases me greatly, the disappointing thing is conceding the field position to give them the tries a bit too easily, so we have got to tighten up in a few areas and then we will start winning a few more games.”