Mixed emotions for Walder after Saracens loss

Saturday 25 February 2023 Written by: Adam

Despite playing the last 63 minutes of the game a man down and trailing by 16 points at half-time the visitors won the second half 10-0 at StoneX Stadium, claiming a bonus point with the final kick of the game in a 29-23 defeat.

That was courtesy of Brett Connon’s penalty on a day when the Cumbrian kicked five from five off the tee, Walder saying afterwards: “I’m proud of how the boys battled in the second half.

“I said to them in the changing room you can either turn left, roll over and embarrass yourselves, or turn right, roll up your sleeves and fight for every point.

“I said it was an individual choice that each of them had to make, and credit to the lads because they really did battle for it.

“It’s just frustrating that we started the game so slowly. We gave ourselves too much to do, and when you go down to 14 men with more than an hour remaining in the game it’s always going to be tough.”

Asked about the straight red card handed to lock Greg Peterson by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys following a high tackle, Walder said: “I’m all for player safety and I understand the referees have protocols they have to follow.

“The frustrating part is when you see virtually identical tackles in international games awarded yellow rather than red cards, but today we’re a man down for over three quarters of the game.

“I’ve not had a chance to speak to Greg just yet or to watch all the angles of the replay in detail, but from the angles we did see at the time I’m struggling to see how it’s any different to some of the tackles which have seen yellow cards recently.”

The Falcons also lost Argentina centres Matias Orlando and Matias Moroni to second-half injuries, with Walder saying: “It looks like Tosti [Orlando] took a stinger and Tute [Moroni] went off with a dead leg, and we’ll have to see how they look over the next few days.

“We’ve got an eight-day turnaround going into London Irish at home next Sunday, and we’ll need to start better than we did today.

“As the game went on we had a number of handling errors in try-scoring positions, but the lads kept battling on and showed plenty of character.

“If you told me before the game that we’d get a bonus point away to the league leaders despite playing with 14 men for more than an hour I’d probably have taken it, but if you’d told me we’d make three handling errors in try-scoring positions I’d be hugely frustrated.

“It’s just one of those days of real mixed emotions, but I’m proud of the way the lads stuck at it and there are things from today that we can build on.”

[**Click here**][1] to buy tickets for Sunday’s 3pm kick-off at home to London Irish.

[1]: https://www.eticketing.co.uk/newcastle-falcons/EDP/Event/Index/1749