PROP Ethan Waller insists Worcester Warriors’ discipline issue needs to be addressed after channelling their “energy and emotion in the wrong way” at Northampton Saints.

Warriors’ penalty count reached double digits again last Saturday as they were pinged 12 times at Franklin’s Gardens after being penalised on 13 occasions against Leicester Tigers the week before.

It was a strong first half from Warriors who led 9-6 thanks to the boot of Duncan Weir.

But an ill-disciplined second period allowed Northampton to have the majority of possession and territory which Warriors had done so well to starve them of in the opening 40 minutes.

And Waller, who was yellow carded on his return to his former club, admitted Warriors’ poor discipline was their downfall in the 35-16 defeat at Saints.

“It’s obviously an area we can improve on,” Waller said.

“It’s not necessarily giving away the penalty itself, it’s giving away another one after that and another one after that which eventually eats away at your field position and puts you in those dangerous areas of the field.

“Coming off that first half we wanted to start fast and be in their faces.

“I think we did that in the first half and it maybe got away from us a little bit in that second half.

“As the game went on we might have channelled that energy and emotion in the wrong way.”

Tempers flared at times in a heated Midlands derby played in atrocious conditions.

When asked about the scuffles off the ball, Waller said: “That is always going to be in the game whether you like it or not.

“As much as you don’t want to lay down you don’t want to get too involved in it otherwise you do see the negative effects of it.

“We’re a team that doesn’t ever want to back down.

“I think that’s one of our strengths but we’ve got to look at how the discipline was and how that factored into our second half.”

Despite the disappointment of the defeat Waller was able to take positives from Worcester’s performance.

“The first half was very good as we played in the right areas and our game management was extremely good,” Waller said.

“We put a lot of pressure on them and managed to convert that into points.

“We conceded too many penalties on the bounce in the second half and that put us into dangerous areas.

“We were camped in our third for quite a long period of time and against a side as dangerous as Saints you can’t be camped in those areas for too long.”

Having beaten Leicester 24-16 on the opening weekend of the league season Waller said there was “no need for doom and gloom” after the loss at Saints.

And the 27-year-old said he had a “positive outlook” ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Exeter Chiefs at Sixways (3pm).

“We’re lucky that we have a long week leading into the Exeter match,” Waller added.

“We’ve got a lot of time to analyse and hopefully get the game plan right so we can come out firing on the weekend.”