Dalton refreshed and ready for Bath test
The 23-year-old Ulsterman has made five appearances in all competitions since joining the Falcons last year, spending this summer playing club rugby for Bond University on Australia’s Gold Coast.
“It was a big moment for myself and my family to make my Gallagher Premiership debut,” said Dalton, who has been capped by Ireland Under-20s.
“There has been a lot of work going in over the past year or so and lots of facetimes with my parents, who helped me cool my mind before the game.
“It was exciting to get out there and it was a big atmosphere at Northampton, so it was just a great experience to be part of.
“We lost the game 32-31 but picked up a couple of bonus points, so there were things there for us to build on.
“We started slowly and had lapses at times which we need to cut out, and that’s ultimately what cost us in terms of winning the game. There was also some good rugby, though, and that’s what we’re looking to take forward.”
Enjoying a 50-metre burst down the centre of the field during the Franklin’s Gardens clash, Dalton said: “I got a bit of a lucky line-break because the real work was done by Mateo Carreras.
“Unfortunately I didn’t have the legs to quite go all the way for a try, but it was nice to have that run and to get my hands on the ball.”
Newcastle followed up that game with a 32-31 Premiership Rugby Cup win away to Leicester Tigers, securing victory thanks to a last-minute try and conversion.
A bye weekend and the cancellation of the Wasps game means the Falcons go into Saturday’s date with Bath after two free weekends – not that Dalton and his team-mates have had their feet up.
“Time off is nice, but it’s not as if we’ve been sat on the beach the whole time,” he said.
“We’ve been in at Kingston Park training hard for most of that period even without the games, and we’ve been working towards Bath on Saturday.”
Assessing the threat posed by their West Country visitors, he added: “They’ve not had the best start to the season but they won their last game and will be looking to fly out of the blocks this weekend.
“They’ll be fired-up by beating Northampton but teams don’t like coming up here, and we’re more focused on ourselves rather than over-analysing what Bath are going to do.
“It’s all about us, and being clinical in everything we do.”
International call-ups for Greg Peterson (USA) and Sean Robinson (England) could open the door for other players during the autumn window, not that the Northern Irishman is letting that affect his focus.
“It’s obviously great for Greg and Schwebby [Robinson] getting called up by their countries, but I don’t think it changes anything for me,” he said.
“All I can do is just prepare properly, look to get my own stuff right and if I get my chance, then great. I’ll just put the work in as much as I can, back my ability and hopefully take my opportunity if it comes.”
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