Walder expects Leicester squeeze on Saturday
Leicester’s kicking game and forward play has sucked the life out of many an opponent in recent years, although the East Midland giants find themselves in a period of re-adjustment following a mid-season managerial change.
Head coach Steve Borthwick and defence coach Kevin Sinfield have both departed in the past month to take up positions with England, not that Walder expects an easy ride as a result.
“Leicester are very well-drilled and they’ve got a new coaching set-up following the departures of Steve and Kevin, but it’s very hard to change things mid-season in terms of game plan,” said the Falcons boss.
“Leicester won the title last season, brought in a few new players and were in a bit of a transition period, and then they’ve lost their head coach and defence coach.
“That’s a big change for any team to deal with, and it’s only natural there’s a slight element of uncertainty for people there.
“Ultimately they’re a very organised, well-drilled team with a simple game plan, and they get good rewards from it.
“We’ve got to make sure we keep releasing the pressure valve, and that we take our opportunities when we get them.
“Leicester haven’t changed much in terms of what they do but it’s more a question of us getting our own bits and pieces right, and if we do that then I’m pretty sure we’ll be in the game.”
The Falcons won their last home game on December 23 with a battling 20-14 victory over a Sale Sharks side who then hammered Leicester 40-5 a week later.
“We need to make home advantage as much of a factor as possible,” said Walder, whose side have faced Leicester away three times already this season in all competitions.
“Leicester have got a good record up here but from memory they’ve generally been close games, and it’s important we stay in the contest and put pressure on them.
“In the away Premiership game at the start of the season they scored twice early on and we were always chasing it from there, and we can’t afford to give away cheap tries.”
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