Stevenson readies for Bath challenge

Tuesday 01 November 2022 Written by: Adam

The 3pm kick-off is the Falcons’ first league assignment for three weeks following their dramatic pair of bonus points in a 32-31 loss at Northampton Saints – a game which saw Stevenson picking up the first card of his career.

“I got carded for the first time, which was annoying, and ended up costing us,” said the 24-year-old Tees-sider, who has scored 18 tries his 53 appearances for the club.

“It’s one of those where you feel a bit hard done by because the guy just stepped into me and it was a head-on-head contact, but that’s the way the game is these days and they’re cracking down on it.

“If Seb de Chaves and I hadn’t both got carded during that time I believe we would have gone on to win the game, and that’s a lesson we’ve learned from it in terms of the importance of keeping 15 men on the field.”

Putting the added preparation time to good use leading into Saturday’s visit of Bath, Stevenson said: “We had a week off from rugby training in the first week, although we were still doing our gym work to keep things ticking over.

“Last week was just general training, and the fact we didn’t have a game meant we were able to get in some good quality work. It felt a little bit more like pre-season in terms of the content we were able to get through, and it was a chance to work on improving our general game rather than focusing on that weekend’s opponents.”

Refusing to buy into labels such as ‘basement battle’ as 11th prepares to meet 9th, the Durham University graduate said: “It’s probably too early in the season to be saying it’s a bottom-of-the-league clash, because teams across the Premiership are so well-matched at the moment and they’ve all got good players.

“Bath have made a load of new signings during the season with bringing in a lot of the Worcester guys, and they’ve brought in a couple of real focal points with the likes of Ollie Lawrence and Ted Hill.

“They like to chuck it out wide and get a few offloads away, so we’ve just got to stick together and shut it down. We obviously know Louis Schreuder really well from his time up here and we know what he brings if he’s involved, and it should be a good match-up.

“Discipline is going to be important for us because we showed down at Northampton how much it costs you when you have guys in the sin bin, and also just not allowing ourselves to switch off at times during the play.

“We’re a dangerous side when we hit our rhythm, and we’ve got a load of threats within our squad who are capable of getting us the win.”

As well as the club game much attention in rugby is turning towards the international scene, with England hosting Argentina on Sunday.

Newcastle Falcons have interest in the Argentina squad through Mateo Carreras, Matias Moroni and Matias Orlando, with Sean Robinson and George McGuigan in the England squad following last weekend’s release for winger Adam Radwan.

“It’s a shame that Radders got released, because I’d have paid good money to see a proper match-up between him and Mateo Carreras,” said Stevenson.

“It’s obviously good with my Falcons hat on because it means he’s available to us this weekend, but then having Schwebby [Robinson] and Googs [McGuigan] called up is great for the club.

“Hopefully they’ll both get retained in the squad and go on to earn their caps, because they deserve it. They’ve been class for us for ages, and it’s great for the Falcons as a club that we’re having guys selected for big international squads.

“We’ve obviously got our own Argentinean contingent as well which is good to see, and then Greg Peterson away playing for the USA in their World Cup qualifiers.”

[**Click here**][1] to buy tickets for Saturday’s 3pm kick-off against Bath.