Monday 11 August 2014 Written by: Adam

Falcons 7s coach and Academy manager Mark Laycock insists there is a lot to be happy about after the 2014 Premiership Rugby 7s campaign concluded last weekend, even though the Falcons fell short of claiming either of the competitions on offer.

Following a group stage triumph where they were undefeated in three games, the Falcons fell at the quarter final stage in the main competition and semi final in the plate but Laycock was still pleased with the attitude shown by his charges.

“One of the most pleasing things was how everyone stepped up and put their bodies on the line for the team. Some of the defence throughout the tournament was absolutely heroic, particularly when our backs were against the wall and we were down to six men. It’s a tough situation to be in and I thought we defended pretty resolutely in those situations.”

“I think we’ve learned some lessons from it as well, so the guys will take into the fifteen-a-side season how important the breakdown is, and how important it is to take your chances, which we didn’t really do on Friday unfortunately.”

While the 7s showcase is very much a tournament in its own right, now in its fourth year it forms an integral part of club’s pre season preparations and Laycock believes that the Falcons side can take a lot out of the 7s environment into the full game.

“There’s been stuff that the referees have been looking at which will probably be following into the premiership, so this series gives a chance for our first team coaches to understand what the refs are going to be hot on and for the players to appreciate what they need to do in those areas as well.”

As with many of the competing clubs, the Falcons also use the Premiership 7s series as an opportunity to give a first taste of big match experiences to some of the younger members of their squad and Laycock feels these players have acquitted themselves well.

“I think the all the lads did really well throughout the series. It provided them with an opportunity to play in front of big crowds, in a big stadiums, on TV and it will only give them confidence going forward.