Wednesday 22 October 2014 Written by: Adam

Falcons’ flanker Andy Saull is hopeful the Newcastle Falcons can build on their opening weekend triumph over Bucharest Wolves in the European Rugby Challenge Cup as the team travel to Newport on Friday.

Turning in a performance which earned him the Man of the Match plaudits, Saull was quick to extol the positive contributions of the rest of his team-mates

“I was pleased last week – I had all sorts of friends coming along to the game which was a good laugh to have them there and playing-wise, I was obviously very pleased with my performance and to get man of the match was great, but I thought it should’ve gone to four or five guys above me.”

“There were a lot of good performances out there, with a number of lads on their debut who were scoring tries. I thought Chris Harris’ performance was outstanding, Tom Penny’s finishing was excellent and to step up in their first game and put a performance like was brilliant.”

Looking back at a match with a great many positives, the 26 year old singled out how the team stuck to its game plan as his number one.

“The most impressive thing for us from Bucharest is the analysis we went into the game with, and when we stuck to our guns and did exactly what we said we would, we came up with results. Fortunately it’s a very similar style of game plan to what we want to do against Newport and so we know, we’ve seen it work, that when we work hard within that it’s very effective.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s round two encounter at Rodney Parade, the Falcons will be facing a Dragons side on an understandable high, after the Welsh region ran out 22 – 38 winners against Stade Francais in Paris last week, but Saull says his side can still look to compete for the points at Rodney Parade.

“It should be a good game of rugby. We know Newport like to throw everything at you from everywhere on the pitch so I think for us it’ll be about how defensively tight we can be. We’ve shown what we can do in attack over the last three weeks so as long as our defence holds up and deals with the big, dynamic guys in their back row and their very talented fly half, then our attack and work rate and the good feeling in the camp will pull through as long as we stick to task.”

“We’ve watched some videos of Newport, we’ve watched the Stade game and watched them playing domestically and they are a very good side. They obviously have some Achilles heels that we’ll try and exploit, and while they’ll be a step up from Bucharest, we have some new combinations, and hopefully now we’ve worked out what works; we’re willing to take them on.