Cornish Pirates like 'rabbits in the headlights' during London Irish defeat
Cornish Pirates were overawed in their 33-24 British and Irish Cup loss at London Irish, says coach Gavin Cattle.
The Pirates were 12-0 down early on and 26-10 behind at half-time as they went on to concede five tries to lose for the first time in the cup.
"It just seemed that we were rabbits in the headlights," Cattle said.
"I know there were a lot of changes and you expect to lose that little bit of fluidity, but we seemed a bit rigid in the first half."
Jack Arnott scored two tries for the Pirates, while Will Cargill also went over, but the Cornish side failed to get a bonus point at the Madejski Stadium.
"We camped in their half pretty much for most of that second half, the disappointing thing was we left a lot out there," Cattle told BBC Radio Cornwall.
"But I've got to respect the players and how they came out in that second half."