Hogg hails Falcons persistence
Ally Hogg praised his side for their strong and composed defence after a game that saw Newcastle Falcons battle back from an opening minute try to emerge 20-10 victors over Gloucester Rugby.
“Going into the game we talked about starting big and it was almost a reversal of that, but we didn’t panic and got ourselves back in the game.
“We just went about what we had to do and I thought that after that opening five minutes we controlled the game really well.”
Despite recording their highest crowd of the season so far, the Falcons were forced to brave sodden conditions throughout the game, something which continually threatened to disrupt the flow of play.
Hogg explained: “I don’t think people realise how slippy the new pitch can be when it’s wet. In that respect it’s a lot worse than grass and you can see that from how many knock ons there were on Friday.”
However the Falcons maintained the upper hand in spite of the challenging conditions and regained momentum from the visitors early on.
“We played a good territory game and just kept pinging them back, so they didn’t have any real chance to attack apart from the last five minutes. They also didn’t get many penalties, which was pleasing. “
After beginning the game in the worst possible way, the Falcons ended the first half of the game 9-7 up, coming back out to score a try five minutes into the second phase.
“We scored in almost the first phase of the second half and it was a good team try; a couple of good breaks from Juan, another from Tait and then finished off by Sinoti – it was pretty clinical. And to be honest that was really our only clear cut opportunity so to take it was a positive.”
A thrilling end to the game saw Gloucester put in many of their strongest attacks of the match but the Falcons’ defence remained resolute to the last, denying the visitors any chance of a bonus point.
“It was pretty pleasing and felt as though we were rewarded for having the defence there. For the last couple of weeks we’ve defenced for maybe 60 minutes but on Friday I thought we defended pretty well throughout.
“Not to concede – even at the end – I thought was really good and obviously not giving them the bonus point either was good, so we’re just delighted for the win.”
Next up for the Falcons is the closest thing the Aviva Premiership has to a Northern derby when Sale Sharks come to town this Sunday.
Speaking of the team’s next opponents, currently sitting at seventh place in the Aviva Premiership after beating Harlequins last Friday, stand-in captain Hogg admitted the North West team will be a challenge.
“Sale haven’t had much disruption with internationals and they’re going quite well, so confidence will be high for them.
“For us though we just need to play a bit like we did on Friday. Everyone had a good game on Friday night; Cleggy kicked well, so did Mike, the scrum went really well, line outs went well – I know Juan got man of the match but it was a really good performance and everyone played their part so we need to take everything we can from Friday’s game and do the same again next week.”
The Falcons’ game against Sale Sharks kicks off at 3.15pm this Sunday, 30th November. Tickets are available to buy now starting from just £15 for adults and £7.50 for juniors, and can be purchased [online], via the Falcons’ 24 hour ticket hotline on 0871 226 6060 or in person from the Kingston Park club shop.