Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder acknowledged there is now little room for manoeuvre for the Gallagher Premiership club as they prepare to welcome Cardiff Rugby in Round 2 of the EPCR Challenge Cup on Saturday, after losing their opener at Connacht Rugby.

The Falcons went down 22-8 at The Sportsground and while Walder was pleased with his side’s battling attitude in Galway, he knows they can’t be as inaccurate at Kingston Park as they were last Saturday.

He said: “We’re looking forward to hosting Cardiff and we always relish playing in front of our supporters.

“The way the tournament format is this season means there are a lot of matches with plenty riding on them and next weekend is no different.”

Walder admitted to an overall feeling of disappointment at The Sportsground after Newcastle failed to claim a losing bonus point.

He said “We showed endeavour, attitude and spirit, but we just lacked a bit of accuracy.

“At half-time I wouldn’t say we were comfortable with where we were, but we felt there were a couple of fixable areas for us to come back and apply more pressure in the second half.

“Some of our skills let us down and we weren’t able to get that momentum to put Connacht under pressure and get that dominance.

“We kept battling away for that losing bonus point, but we weren’t quite able to do it and Connacht are a good team – especially in Galway.

“We defended well in patches, because we had to, but ultimately it was a disappointing evening.”