Walder praises six-try Falcons

Saturday 07 January 2023 Written by: Adam

Leading 28-5 and completing the job after the break, the Falcons boss said: “We fought, scrapped and showed what we are about.

“With Leicester losing heavily at Sale the week before we knew there was no chance of them not being focused and absolutely on it, and that maybe helped us because we knew what was coming.

“The boys were in the right space emotionally, and we flew out of the blocks. Gary Graham is a big emotional leader for us and did an outstanding job there, and the back-row boys set the tone with Carl Fearns and Callum Chick.

“Mateo Carreras will rightly get the headlines for his unbelievable finishing, but our centres gave us solidity in defence and then some of the local boys like Brett Connon and Tom Penny took the game to Leicester.

“It was a really hard decision to choose our full-back because Elliott Obatoyinbo has been playing incredibly well and beat a load of defenders last week at Bath, but Tom is a leader for us and showed that throughout the game. Elliott came on from the bench and did exactly what we know he can, and it’s great to have those options to chose from.

“Combinations across the board put their hand up, and I’m almost reluctant to single anybody out.”

Walder added: “The pleasing thing was our attitude from one to 23, right from the start until the end.

“We fought at key moments when the game was in the balance, and in that period before half-time we made it very difficult for them to score.

“It wasn’t in the plans to give them a try just after half-time, and that bonus-point try with last play was really annoying, but I thought our attitude, fight and composure for the most part was bang-on right across the board.

“Our nine and ten drove where we played the game, so we were in the right areas and playing with tempo.

“Our defence made good decisions for the most part, our set-piece platform delivered and then the attacking game plan that Mark Laycock had put in place was able to be launched. Our forwards front up week in, week out, and it’s a very happy changing room.

“That’s three wins in our last three home league games, and against three good teams in Exeter, Sale and Leicester. We’re very proud of that, but on the same note we also need to be taking that form on the road with us. That’s the next step, but it’s always great to do it in front of our own supporters and with the TV cameras making an appearance here.”

Moving into the EPCR Challenge Cup now with a trip to Cardiff and a home date with Connacht, the head coach said: “We were disappointed by how the two European games have gone so far, so we feel like we have a point to prove in that competition.

“We’ve had to manage players just with the injury situation the way it has been, and our focus has been more on the league.

“Hopefully this time round we will be able to go a little bit stronger, and we’ll need to because we’re playing against pretty much a full international team with the squad that Cardiff have got.

“We feel like we haven’t given a good account of ourselves in our two opening games, and that’s definitely in the back of our minds.”

The Falcons’ next home game is on Saturday January 21 when Irish province Connacht visit Kingston Park for a 5.30pm kick-off.

[**Click here to buy tickets.**][1]

[1]: https://www.newcastlefalcons.co.uk/news/story/Connacht-next-up-at-KP-on-Saturday-January-21