Cornish Pirates director of rugby Ian Davies said his side lacked "continuity" going forward as they fell to a 29-18 defeat by Yorkshire Carnegie at Mennaye Field.
The Pirates included four debutants in their starting line-up for their first Championship match of the season and their inexperience seemed to show.
"It is disappointing to lose the first game," Davies told BBC Radio Cornwall.
"You need all facets to function to beat a side like Yorkshire."
The two sides conceded a total of 41 penalties and Davies was surprised that, with so many infringements, neither team picked up any yellow cards.
The former back-row added that his young side need to improve their forward play if they are going to progress.
"We were our own worst enemy," said Davies. "We gave them field positions with cheap penalties and then those penalties build pressure.
"I think both sides could have gone down to 14 men easily but maybe their Premiership experience and their little small talk to some of the officials kept some of the players on the park.
"The interpretation of the scrum went against us. The boys were a little bit confused at half-time.
"When we were going forward we were penalised so we need to look at that. "