Willis hails good A League hit out

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Fly Half Craig pleased to be part of big win and looking to use it to add momentum to his development.

Fly Half Craig Willis effectively directed proceedings for the Falcons A team on Monday evening, as the team recorded a 75-22 win over Worcester Cavaliers, with the young number 10 once again impressing with his shift in the shirt.

Willis has enjoyed a good amount of game time for the club this season, across pre season, the Kings of the North Cup, European Rugby Challenge Cup and Aviva A League and was pleased to be part of a commanding “Monday Night Footy” performance.

Speaking post match, Willis said, “It was good for us to get a good hit out and get a chance to throw the ball about and score so many tries. It can be quite hard in those games sometimes to keep patience, keep hold of the ball and stick to our own script really and I was pretty pleased we did that for the most part.”

“We came in at half time and we spoke about keeping hold of the ball and cutting out the individual errors and we did. We were pretty resilient in the second half with 45 unanswered points to it was pretty good.”

Playing alongside a mix of established first team names and the club’s emerging talents, Willis particularly enjoyed playing alongside players that he trains with day in day out as a member of the senior academy.

“We train together all the time and we’re often run as teams out there in training during the week. As a group, we’re all pretty close including the guys who are playing on a Saturday or Sunday, but to be playing with people you are normally hanging around with or living with, you have slightly different connections with them so there’s a bit more of a buzz about it.”

While enjoying the evening’s game, the man from Billingham also acknowledged the difference between first team rugby and the A League but maintained it has a huge role to play in allowing players to build confidence, ahead of hopefully featuring in further outings in the senior competitions.

“The pressure’s not on as much as it would be if you were coming off the bench or playing in a first team game, so it allows you to try things out and if they come off, it boosts your confidence which you can try and take into training and then into bigger games.”

“There is a lot more pressure, so little things you try out there [Aviva A League] you are not going to try there [Aviva Premiership] but you naturally raise your game to play at that level through the change in mindset.”

With Mike Delaney leaving the field early against Sale Sharks last Saturday, the return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action underlined how quickly a player like Willis can find himself in the frame for involvement in those bigger games, with the 20 year old ready to contribute should he be called upon.

“Playing in the A League is good for your confidence, but you feel that you need to take a step and build and know you can make an impact at the top level. It’s not good to see someone go down like Mike did, but things like that can present opportunities and it’s up to me to step up personally and step up to take them and show what I can do.”

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