We just have to be smarter, says Albion star Bailey
PLYMOUTH Albion centre Paul Bailey says the team have to learn to play smarter rugby.
Bailey, like the rest of Albion's players, were gutted at losing Sunday's West Country derby at the Cornish Pirates 19-17.
Albion dominated the game and led 17-11 with seven minutes to go.
Bailey, however, insists Albion have to take the positives from the loss.
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"We went down with the attitude that we could win and we were right in the game and could have won," he said.
"But a few things did not go our way.
"We did not take our chances and in the end it cost us.
"But we have to be positive about it.
"We put a good performance in. It was a good effort, but we just need to play a little bit smarter.
"If we do that those wins will come for us.
"We are looking forward to next week when we have Leeds at home.
"We have to step up again and keep going."
Albion did miss five kicks and goals and wasted a couple of great try scoring chances.
Bailey said: "We had some chances, but it just comes down to being smarter in the right area.
"We just have to work on that.
"We have got the effort and physicality to do something this year, but we just need to be smarter."
Albion have made a habit of losing games narrowly over the last few years.
However, Bailey insisted fans should not believe it is going to be the same old story for Albion this season.
"I say it was a different type of loss," he said.
"We went down there, away from home, and scored three tries and we could have won – and won well – with a bonus point.
"That is different from last year where we were going to places and getting close, but not quite in the game enough where we could have won it.
"We were almost settling for getting close.
"We did not want to settle for that on Sunday and the Pirates did well to come back and snatch it from us.
"Credit to them for coming back and snatching it from us."
The Pirates snatched victory thanks to a Rob Cook penalty in the last minute of normal time.
Cook's intervention came after Albion were turned over at the other end and the Pirates put a big kick up field and then pressurised the visitors into giving away a line-out, on their own 22.
On the penalty, Bailey said: "We put ourselves in that situation.
"We lost ground up the field and put ourselves under pressure and when the referee is that close to the sticks and the opposition are battering against us there is always a chance something will give."
Bailey believes Albion can do well this year because they have kept the core of their team together.
On Sunday only three of their starting line-up were not at the club last season, compared to seven of the Pirates' starting XV.
They also have an experienced squad with the likes Bailey, Sean-Michael Stephen, Aaron Carpenter, Bevon Armitage, Keni Fisilau, Ryan Hopkins, David Morton, Wayne Sprangle, Ruairi Cushion, Sam Hocking and Rhodri McAtee have all had three or more seasons in the Championship.
Bailey said: "They (the Pirates) lost a lot of their players and are rebuilding, but we have a lot of consistency now with a lot of guys who are experienced in the Championship and that really helps.
"We have not had that start where we've had to get to know each other.
"We know each other. We have just added some players to it."
Bailey is confident the team will get over Sunday's defeat quickly.
"We are looking forward to the Leeds game already.
"After the game we were disappointed, but we came off with the attitude that we need to do something next week, which is positive."