Stock rising for Robinson
After a whirlwind start to his professional rugby career, Back Row Sean Robinson has another milestone to celebrate following his first try for Newcastle Falcons in Friday’s victory over Stade Francais.
Robinson scored the third of four Falcons’ tries in his team’s 30-23 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over the Parisian side.
“It was fantastic to get my name on the score sheet. You never really expect to score in the forwards but I just found myself out there. The guy drifted off and I threw an outrageous dummy and got in in the corner, which is always nice. I’m sure Noah would have killed me if I hadn’t scored so it’s a good job I got over!”
For Robinson, who signed professional terms with the Falcons this summer after completing a Physics Degree at Durham University, it’s been a busy few months.
“I’ve had a fantastic first six months really; first Championship game, first Premiership game, beating Stade Francais – it’s been a real whirlwind. Six month ago when I signed would I have expected to do all of those things? Probably not but it’s fantastic and I’m loving every moment of it.”
Currently dual registered with Rotherham Titans, Robinson made a number of appearances for the Championship side before his most recent return to the Falcons.
“I’m not sure how long I’ll be here and when I’ll be heading back to Rotherham but I’m playing it by ear and taking it as it comes. Obviously it’s great for me when I go down to Rotherham to get some game time, especially if I’m not going to be involved up here because I get the chance to keep playing which is really useful and it keeps me relatively fresh to the game. It’s a learning curve for me with every game that I’m playing.”
Although early into his career, Friday’s game against Stade Francais must count as one of Robinson’s highlights to date, particularly given the calibre of opposition players on display.
“Obviously when you look at their team, especially their back line – you’ve got Morne Steyn at fly half, Digby Ioane on the wing – those are very talented players and we knew they were coming over here to have a go. I think French sides are starting to move away from that stigma that they had of not attacking away games so we were really pleased with our performance tonight.
“French sides are renowned for being physical and in the second half they started putting in a few big shots around the ruck and we did really well to keep that back and I think we can be really pleased with that on reflection.”
30-23 ahead with ten minutes to go, the Falcons were forced to into a last-ditch defence as Stade embarked upon a frenetic high-pressured phase of attack.
“The last two minutes were so nerve-wracking. It was a great last scrum from the boys; 80 minutes up on the clock and the front row deliver that. When you’re in the back row and you’re absolutely knackered to have the boys deliver that was absolutely fantastic.
“Micky will be very pleased with that last scrum. Great credit to Eric, Rog and George that’s exactly what we needed at that point and they delivered a fantastic scrum.
“I think we made it a bit closer than it should have been with a few mistakes but fair play to the boys, we really showed some great desire there and we worked our socks off for 80 minutes. I thought we played some really good stuff when we got the ball in hand; we kept the tempo high which is what Dave set us out to do at the start of the game so we were pretty happy in the dressing room and I think when we look back on the game we’ll be really proud of ourselves.”
With the second leg of the fixture scheduled for this Thursday, sights are now set firmly on a cross-channel trip as the Falcons look to continue their unbeaten European run, something Robinson is understandably keen to play a part in.
“A nice trip to Paris is always good and we’re expecting a good atmosphere over there. It’ll be the second time I’ve played over there and the last time was a really good atmosphere; the French love their rugby so we’re really excited now, especially after Friday’s win, to go out there and give it our all and if we can secure that quarter final we’ll go out there looking to do that.”
The Falcons European Rugby Challenge Cup fixture against Stade Francais will kick off at 7.45pm GMT with text commentary available via Twitter and the club’s official mobile app, or radio commentary available on BBC Radio Newcastle.