Robinson primed for Chiefs challenge
Defeat at London Irish saw the Falcons drop down to fourth in the Gallagher Premiership table going into round eight, but back-five forward Robinson is taking the bigger-picture view.
“When we take stock on how things have gone this season we can’t be too disappointed, because we’re fourth in the league,” said the 29-year-old, who has played 91 times for Newcastle.
“If you’d asked most people outside of this club where we’d be, I think fourth would be above their expectations. It’s been a hugely positively start overall, and while we’re not getting carried away we also can’t let one defeat detract from the general picture of how things are going.”
Suffering a 31-22 defeat at London Irish after a hugely positive start to the campaign, he added: “We were disappointed with how we played last weekend – not just missing out on the losing bonus point at the end, but with our play in general.
“We made too many mistakes, and in Premiership rugby you can’t do that without getting punished.
“We conceded four first-phase tries which clearly isn’t good enough, but the good thing is that they’re relatively easy fixes. We’re focusing on ourselves this week, and raising the level of our basics back to where it needs to be.”
Resisting the temptation to use the European cancellation as an excuse for last weekend’s defeat, the forward said: “The break possibly came at the wrong time for us because we felt we were playing well and had a lot of momentum, which is important in this competition.
“Maybe the two weeks without a game disrupted that slightly, but you can make all the excuses you want about why you weren’t quite good enough last weekend. We don’t want to do that – we just went to get back out onto the pitch and deliver a good performance against Exeter on Sunday.”
The visit of the Premiership and European champions provides no shortage of incentive, with Robinson and his team relishing the prospect of the televised 1pm kick-off.
“Sunday against Exeter is a big challenge for us, but we’re excited by it,” he said.
“These are the games you want to be involved in, and we spent a year in the Championship desperately trying to get ourselves promoted so we could have tests like this. They’re the European and Premiership champions, and we want to test ourselves against teams of that calibre.”
Having led the team last weekend along with Toby Flood, Robinson is enjoying the extra responsibility while club captain Mark Wilson is away on international duty with England.
“Captaincy and co-captaincy is something a bit different for me, and is a huge privilege,” he said.
“Like all the lads I was obviously disappointed with the result and the performance at Irish, but at the same time it was a great personal honour and a positive experience to have that role.
“I’ve not had a huge amount of captaincy experience on my way through the system. I captained Durham University a few times, but we had guys like Josh Beaumont and Simon Hammersley in the same team which meant we were pretty well looked after on that side of things.
“It’s relatively new to me but I’m learning on the job, and I’m enjoying the experience.”