HEAD coach Jonathan Thomas admitted his side lacked belief in their 23-34 defeat to three-time European Champions Toulon at Sixways on Saturday.

The French side dominated up front and at the breakdown throughout the majority of the game and Thomas expressed his frustration at full-time, saying his side did not adapt well to that facet of the game.

"The overwhelming feeling is disappointment," said Thomas

"They did a job on us at the contact area.

"We started the game well and looked composed but then, around the middle third of the game, we tried to go through phase play and they kept winning penalties and turning us over.

"Our response wasn't great and then in the last 20 we did start to respond but it was too late.

"The players worked hard but I think we went into our shells a little bit, they were good at the breakdown and it affected us.

"Toulon are a good side, big men but one thing that killed us was breakdown really and then we became blinkered in attack, which isn't us.

"The players are frustrated but we lacked belief today.We have to trust our instinct, we have and go out and back ourselves but we left it too late."

Worcester were 34-9 down with 15 minutes to play but tries from Duhan van der Merwe and Harri Doel's intercept score threatened a shock comeback.

But it was not to be in the end as the French side held on for a deserved bonus-point win that puts them top of Pool A and leaves Worcester languishing in fourth.

"The players will have learned from this," added Thomas

"We have a lot of young players and some of our boys won't have played a French side before. You don't normally get teams coming at you that hard at the breakdown but it's a good experience for our players.

"But we are the home team and we should have had more belief in ourselves, we allowed the breakdown to affect our mindset too much and we went into our shells.

"The game is about positive energy and momentum swings, that's the same as any game and they had a few momentum swings because they were winning breakdown penalties and they gained momentum that way.

"We didn't adapt to it, we didn't problem solve until too late.

"We played with a bit more tempo and we showed we could score some nice tries.

"I am proud of the boys who went hard against a good team but we're disappointed."