Mixed feelings for Walder after Anglo-Welsh triumph

Saturday 03 February 2018 Written by: Adam

Barring Leicester running in 13 tries at Wasps on Sunday the Anglo-Welsh Cup victory should be enough to send the Falcons through to the semi-finals, but that game would be away from Kingston Park Stadium after Newcastle fell just short on the tries-scored front in their quest for a top-two seeding.

Walder said: “It’s mixed feelings, to be honest.

“We’re please to have got the bonus point victory, which was what we set out to do. That should pretty much be enough to get us a semi-final place unless Leicester put up a cricket score at Wasps on Sunday, but then the slight downer is that our semi-final would be away from home.”

A two-time cup final winner as a Falcons player, Walder added: “Mathematically we were just a try or two short of that home semi, but we’ve given ourselves a great chance of winning our group barring Leicester absolutely thumping Wasps.

“I feel like a home semi-final was in our reach because we got our four tries by just after half time, and we should have kicked on from there. The fact that we didn’t is what most disappoints us, but it’s nice in a way to be disappointed after a bonus-point victory.”

Turning to the bigger picture as the Falcons freshened up their squad, Walder said: “It was a bit of a blow-out for some of the boys and we also had one eye on next weekend’s return to Aviva Premiership rugby at Saracens.

“The Premiership is a tough slog, and it’s a fine balance between keeping the guys fresh and ensuring they’re battle-ready.

“Today’s game puts us in good shape going into a match against a Saracens team who have consistently been in major finals in both England and Europe, and it’s a challenge we’re excited about.”