Walder reacts to Saracens loss

Sunday 09 October 2022 Written by: Adam

The Kingston Park clash had been largely one-way traffic until the visitors had Mako Vunipola red-carded midway through the second half, with Newcastle offering late resistance while never really threatening the outcome of the contest.

“We had a nine-day turnaround so we can’t complain about lack of preparation time, and as coaches we’ve got to sit down and talk about whether we did certain things right with the time that we had – myself included,” said Walder.

“Did we give them too much time off at the start of the week?

“Did we overload them with too much information because of the extra preparation time, or did we not give them enough?

“Did we pick the right team?

“We can talk about the need to rotate some guys who have played a lot of rugby, but then there’s the debate about not changing a winning team and wanting to use that momentum from the Bristol game.

“Did we get that right?

“I don’t know, speaking so soon after the game, but we’ll have to sit down and pick through it because these are all important decisions and we need to be getting them right.”

Crediting Sunday’s victors, who had put 51 points past champions Leicester Tigers the week before, Walder said: “Saracens are a really good, well-coached side with loads of superstars, but even taking all of that into consideration we’re extremely disappointed with what we put out there today.

“We gave them a 14-point start after six or seven minutes, and against a side as good as them it’s extremely hard to come back from that.

“They showed why they’re the top team in the league because they’re completely ruthless, and really clinical in everything they do. They’re moving the ball more than they have done in recent years, they’ve got a great recruitment strategy which allows them to add to what they’ve got and they’re really well-drilled.

“Today wasn’t a representation of what we’re about. We weren’t good enough at what we wanted to do and we gave them too many ins. We didn’t challenge them, our carrying was too passive, we didn’t look we had any energy about us and as a coaching group we have to look at why that was.

“You can quibble about the odd refereeing call or whatever, but when you lose by as much as we did today you can’t look to that as the reason for the defeat. It’s all about ourselves, how we started the game and why we were so sluggish against the best team in the league.

“What did we get wrong as coaches, and how do we make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again?

“We’ve got a six-day turnaround to Northampton away so we don’t have a huge amount of time, but maybe there’s an element of freshening up needed to the team or looking at changing how we’re doing certain things.”

Asked about the red card handed out to Mako Vunipola for a no-arms clear-out on Tom Penny, the Falcons boss said: “In the modern game it’s probably a red card, and once they start slowing things down on the big screen they never look great.

“The real question is why you would ever feel the need to clear somebody out like that in a game, but Mako shook hands with Tom Penny and Mateo Carreras when he got sent off so I don’t think there was any bad feeling or real damage done, thankfully.

“By then the game was gone for us, we were just trying to chase a bonus point but we were too far off to make that happen in the time we had remaining, which is really disappointing.”

Newcastle Falcons’ next home game is on Saturday November 5 when Bath make the Gallagher Premiership trip to Kingston Park Stadium.

[**Click here**][1] to buy tickets for the 3pm kick-off.

[1]: https://www.eticketing.co.uk/newcastle-falcons/EDP/Event/Index/1742?position=5