Launceston captain Tom Rawlings says his side must stop throwing away early leads after their 24-23 loss to Shelford at Polson Bridge.
The Cornish All Blacks were 24-9 down early in the second half after tries from Shelford's Peceli Nacamauvuto, Taniela Bakoso and Dane Grey.
Launceston did come back with a penalty try and one from Lewis Paterson.
"We can't afford to put ourselves in these situations," Rawlings told BBC Radio Cornwall.
"We made life difficult on ourselves. To concede a try when we had the ball and let them in right at the start of the game put us on the back foot and had an impact in that first half.
"I think we showed a lot of character to get back into the game because at one point it looked as though we were down and out and it could have gone either way at the end."
The game was the first this season for Launceston without flanker Josh Lord.
The influential forward started an eight-week suspension after being banned earlier in the week for eye-gouging against Hereford in November.
"If Josh was here he definitely would have started because the back row has been functioning really well.
"We did miss him today, he ball carries a lot for us, he does some good dirty work and puts his tackles in and he's a leader in his own performance.
"I hope they contest it because as far as I'm concerned he didn't do what he's been deemed to have done in the game," he added.