Newcastle Falcons boss Alan Tait spoke positively of his side's display against high-flying Saracens on Sunday, despite tasting defeat in the Aviva Premiership.Seated in front of the waiting media at Vicarage Road, Tait said: “Some of the younger lads were thrown in there and they stood up to be counted, which bodes well for the future of the club.
“My impact players came on and did what we asked of them. Tom Catterick at full-back showed up well and Rikki Sheriffe on the wing didn’t look out of place despite it being his first Aviva Premiership game.
“Some of the boys gave their all. I asked them to make an impact and they did which is why, despite losing, I see reasons to be cheerful.”
Rugby league convert, Sheriffe made his premiership bow on the wing, and Tait believes the former Bradford Bulls hot-shot will be a success in the 15 man code, saying: “He is only going to get better, and overall I was fairly pleased with his performance. He didn’t get his hands on the ball as much as he would have liked but he didn’t do anything wrong and I’m confident he will be a success at the club.”
The Falcons were penalised at the scrum on a number of occasions by referee Martin Fox and Tait gave his assessment of things.
He said: “Sometimes you get the decisions there and sometimes you don’t, but we’ll have to look at it. I don’t think the boys struggled too much in the scrum, to be fair, but the ref was just picking up on little technical things which we need to iron out.
“We also have Euan Murray available again for the Gloucester game on the weekend and that will be another boost because everybody knows what a quality player he is.”
Next up for Newcastle is a trip to the West Country to face Bryan Redpath’s Gloucester, who took a thumping against Harlequins at the weekend.
“We have been tired, and there’s no getting away from the fact that we have had two hard weeks and a lot of travelling,” said Tait.
“We never seem to be off that team bus at the moment, but we’ve got to move on and deal with it,” he added.