London Welsh’s defeat to Gloucester Rugby at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday was an opportunity missed says assistant coach Gordon Ross, writes Damian Dolan.

The exiles trailed the Cherry and Whites by six points with just minutes to go and came within inches of forcing their way over for late a try that could have seen them rack up that allusive first win of the season.

The Gloucester defence held out, however, and Aled Thomas added his sixth penalty to give the visitors an 18-9 victory.

“It’s not often we’ve said it this season, but that’s one that got away,” said Ross.

“As a squad we’re disappointed we didn’t get more out of the game.

“It was there for the taking, but we just didn’t have that level of execution at crucial moments to get us over the tryline. At crucial moments in the game they were a little bit better than us.

“We had some good possession and territory at times but unfortunately we couldn’t cross the white line. We coughed up possession a little too easily.

“There were some positives. Our defensive shape was pretty good and they didn’t really look like scoring too often, but on the flip side our attack wasn’t as good as it could have been. We weren’t as threatening as we have been at times.”

Twice in the final quarter the exiles turned down kickable penalties to go for the corner, and Ross defended the decision.

“We obviously felt that we could drive them over and get the converted try to put us ahead, and it’s great these boys have the guts to do it, but unfortunately we didn’t have that level of execution that we needed at this level,” said Ross, who felt the exiles’ lack of discipline in the first half was a more significant factor in deciding the outcome.

“We conceded far too many penalties in the first half – more probably in attack. We didn’t quite get our entry right in attack and wasted some good field position, which was disappointing.

“Second half we put some good defensive shifts in and forced them to kick, but with our possession we didn’t have the level of accuracy we need.”

The exiles now face a tough three weeks as the Aviva Premiership with games against Wasps, Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints to come.

“The boys’ work ethic was good again this week and if an outsider came and watched us train in the week they wouldn’t believe where we are because our training standards are very good and our accuracy of execution is very good, but we’re not putting that on the pitch,” he added.

“That’s very frustrating for the players and the management, but they are still going out on that training pitch every day and working their backsides off.

“We need to have that work ethic, we need a couple of lucky bounces of the ball, but we need to improve as a team as well to get results over the next few weeks.

“They’re tough games, but every game’s tough in this league.”