Schreuder sees Saturday as a launchpad for the season

Wednesday 05 January 2022 Written by: Adam

The Falcons were 18-10 winners the last time the teams met back in May, with Schreuder recalling: “Our away game at Northampton last season got cancelled due to Covid, and then the home match was the first game when we were allowed a limited number of supporters back.

“It was really special to get some of our crowd back for the game, and I remember the atmosphere being really good despite only something like 1,500 supporters being allowed inside the ground.

“Those guys made a massive amount of noise, and we had a good win in the end. It’s a fond memory for us, but at the same time it’s not really relevant to what will happen on Saturday. You’ve got two different teams, and Northampton will be bringing pretty much their strongest side because they don’t have too many guys missing at the moment.”

The Falcons will be looking to bounce back from Sunday’s 31-0 reverse away to unbeaten league leaders Leicester Tigers, with their South African half-back admitting: “Obviously we were very disappointed with that result and performance.

“We wanted to go down there and put the challenge to Leicester. They’re clearly a good side because they’re unbeaten all season, and we knew what the challenge was going to be like. We maybe got shown up by the conditions because Leicester managed them much better than us, and the boys were hurting from it after the game.

“Getting nilled is never good and it does hurt your pride, but Leicester are a quality team and we can learn a lot from some of the things they did.”

Quickly pointing the ship back in the right direction, he added: “We did a review on Monday because there’s always something you can take from a game, and it’s important you do that.

“Leicester have been going like a train this season and nobody has beaten them, so you have to keep it in perspective.

“You need to pick their brain and see what they do, maybe incorporating aspects of it into your own game, but once that Monday review process is completed the focus all switches to Northampton on Saturday.”

The Saints finished last weekend six points and two places ahead of Newcastle in the Gallagher Premiership standings, with Schreuder saying: “They are going pretty well this season and play a really attractive brand of rugby.

“They keep things open, they want to move the ball into space and we have to be up for it defensively in terms of how we combat that. They put you under pressure without the ball by going hard at the breakdown, and we have got to be spot-on with everything we do.”

Unperturbed by the sub-zero temperatures hitting the North East during his team’s preparation, the three-time Currie Cup winner said: “One of the good things about having the artificial pitch is that we have been able to train as normal, even with the cold getting to something like minus six this week.

“I’m used to the weather here now, to be honest, so from that side of things it’s not an issue at all. When you first move here from South Africa it’s quite a change, but now it just seems normal to me!”

Having established himself as a firm fixture in the Falcons side this season, the one-cap Springbok said: “I’ve had something like 11 games now on the run, and I feel like it’s going well.

“I feel good about my game, but I want us to go one step further and get some more wins under our belt.

“It’s been a hard few games over the last month or little bit longer, but we’ve got a great group here and a lot of potential to climb up the table.

“Beating Northampton would be a great start towards that goal, and we can build some more momentum from there.”

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