DRAGONS boss Bernard Jackman vented his fury at referee Mike Adamson after the damaging 27-25 loss to Newcastle in the European Challenge Cup.

The Rodney Parade region were edged out on home soil to leave them needing to double Bordeaux-Begles in January to sneak into the quarter-finals as one of the best runners-up.

Newcastle will now win Pool One but Jackman was frustrated that his side, whose tries came from hooker Elliot Dee (2) and wing Ashton Hewitt, were denied a comeback win against the Falcons.

They kicked to the corner in the closing stages rather than go for the posts only for the Aviva Premiership side to stop them – illegally according to the head coach.

“We backed ourselves and they gave away numerous penalties at the maul, which was dominant,” said Jackman.

“We’d already scored two tries from our maul and there should have been a warning – the previous one we were heading for a try, so it’s a penalty try and a yellow card but he doesn’t give it.

“Then we kick to the corner and they take us out in the air. Dick Turpin wore a mask when he robbed people!

“We just have to get on with it and after we had that referee against Leinster we sent a report that was pretty damning. We will do the same again and see what the ERC do about it.

“The last play of the game, we are going forward [from a scrum] and he makes us play the ball away. It’s just a case of not wanting to make a decision, I think.”

Jackman backed his skipper Cory Hill for opting for the driving lineout rather than a Henson three-pointer.

“We wanted a bonus point and felt that there was no way they could legally stop our maul… and they didn’t legally stop it,” he said. “Unfortunately there were no sanctions but I would back that decision.

“We’ve scored more maul tries than anyone else in the PRO14, we scored two tonight and if you find an area of dominance you’ve got to go for it. If it hadn’t been illegally stopped we would have scored.”

The Dragons boss was frustrated with Scottish official Adamson but was also annoyed with his players’ charitable streak.

“We gifted them 24 points in the first half and when you play with fire you get burned,” said Jackman.

“We backed ourselves to come back and showed loads of courage and heart but sometimes when you are that generous you don’t claw yourself back into the game.

“The players felt even with two minutes to go that we were going to win it but we just weren’t as clinical as we needed to be and there were some strange decisions out there.

“But the learning is to don’t gift teams scores – look at Newcastle’s three tries and they didn’t actually have to work for them.

“One was a break off the back of a scrum that gave them an entry point into the 22, another was a charge down and the last one was an exit that we let ourselves get blocked by an illegal blocker. We need to be smarter.”