McGuigan Pleased To Be Back In The Pack
Newcastle Falcons welcomed hooker George McGuigan back to the fray in Friday’s LV= Cup match against Cardiff Blues, with the 21 year old pleased to be back into competitive action.
The former Irish U20’s international had been ruled out of consideration since the opening day of the season at Leicester through injury and was itching to get back involved, demonstrated by the vigour and intensity in his warm up before taking the field as a second half substitution.
McGuigan said “I was very happy to be back playing on Friday, it was frustrating to get the injury when I did, but it’s done now and I’m just pleased to get back onto the pitch and to get through the game and try and put myself into contention for next weekend.”
“I’ve kept up a lot of work with the conditioners whilst I’ve been out as the injury was one that let me still run and work on fitness, so it shouldn’t be too long until I am there. I probably could have worked a little bit harder around the pitch, but that will come as I get my match fitness back up to 100%”
In a perfect illustration of the phrase a game of two halves, the Falcons surged into a 21 – 7 half time lead playing with ambition and pace before falling 21 – 22 at the end of 80 minutes and McGuigan spoke candidly about the performance on Friday.”
“The first half was really positive, the boys were pretty happy with how it went and we thought if we stuck to our processes and did the simple things well then we should win the game pretty comfortably.”
“We’re all disappointed in the performance in the second half, we let ourselves be shown up out there. They taught us a lesson in how to control a game, their 10 and fullback kicked the ball well and then we made things worse with individual errors that cost us in the end.”
With Cardiff finding their way back into the match by virtue of 12 points during Ruki Tipuna’s spell in the sin bin, McGuigan says he and his team mates must work on ensuring the damage caused by any future yellow cards is minimised.
“The sin bin was very costly and I don’t think we handled it particularly well as a team and it’s the second time in a week. Even with a man down, we shouldn’t be conceding as many points as we have. We do a lot of drills in training where you’re a man down, but we haven’t been sticking to our process.”
With a trip to high flying Bath this weekend marking the resumption of Aviva Premiership action this weekend, McGuigan and his teammates know they must rediscover their recent good form if they wish to restart the league campaign positively.
“Bath may have a number of players away with the internationals, but they will still be a huge challenge and we certainly can’t afford to play like we did in the second half on Friday otherwise we’ll be out of it and in for a hard afternoon.”
“We need to get back to how we were playing at the end of the last Premiership block and in the European games , and to front up physically if we’re wanting to take anything from the game.”