Wasps virtually guaranteed a European Champions Cup play-off – but coach Dai Young was not satisfied with their performance against Newcastle in the Aviva Premiership.
After the 44-38 success, Young said: “We would have settled for a bonus point win but we were very patchy.
“There will be two very concerned defence coaches after this. They won the first and third quarters, we won the third and last.”
The home side played some exhilarating rugby to score six tries with Nathan Hughes (2), Ashley Johnson, Will Helu, Charlie Hayter and Joe Simpson all crossing, with Andy Goode kicking four conversions and two penalties.
Hughes had a very impressive first half but was withdrawn at half-time, although his injury was not viewed as serious.
Young explained: “Nathan (Hughes) had a nasty bang on the shin and cramp was affecting his calf. I would rather take off a player sooner rather than later.”
Wasps trailed 17-0 early on before blitzing their opponents with four tries to lead 29-17 at the interval, with Young bemoaning their repeated failure to start well.
He said: “It is very frustrating, in a lot of games this season we have given the big sides a head-start and that gives us a mountain to climb.
“Again, in the second half, some of our inaccuracies allowed them to get back into the game.”
Newcastle counterpart Dean Richards was delighted with his side’s effort.
He said: “We went 17 points up pretty easily but their back five, which would grace any international 15, increased their intensity to cause us big problems.
“There was some outstanding play from both sides and I thought our half-backs, Joel Hodgson and Mike Blair, were exceptional.”
Hodgson and Blair scored tries for the Falcons with Noah Cato (2) and George McGuigan also crossing to secure two bonus points for the visitors. Hodgson also converted five and kicked a penalty for a match tally of 18 points.
Worcester’s defeat at Saracens ensured Newcastle retain their Premiership status and Richards added: “Staying up with a week to go is a job well done.
“I am frustrated that there were not more wins but this gives us an opportunity to better prepare for next season.
“Last year we didn’t know that we were up until May 29 – so it was always going to be difficult.”
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