Walder reacts to victory at Doncaster
Adam Radwan’s last-minute try shaded a pre-season classic in which the lead frequently changed hands, Walder saying: “Fair play to Doncaster, first things first, because they gave us a hell of a game tonight.
“They were disappointed by what they put out the previous week against Wasps, and you could see that, because they massively raised their levels. They came out charged up and caught us on the hop, if we’re honest about it.
“We were sloppy at the breakdown, made mental errors in defence which cost us field position and ultimately tries, and Doncaster were clinical when they got their opportunities. Their nine and ten were running the game and we were losing the territory and possession battle.”
Trailing 12-7 at the interval, the Falcons boss said: “We chatted at half-time and had only done two or three things wrong, but those two or three things had cost us big time.
“We spoke about how we would fix it, and I thought in the second half we did play a little bit better. We got more tempo into the game, we created opportunities and put them under a bit more pressure.”
One plus for the visitors was a club debut for South African fly-half Tian Schoeman, with the former Bath man completing a long road to recovery.
“It was great to see Tian back on the field after something like 18 months out,” said Walder.
“First of all it was just great to see him on the pitch, and then secondly to see him playing well. He hit a touchline conversion, showed a few nice touches and he’s just a lovely bloke who has worked incredibly hard to come back.
“It’s been a long road for him but he’s fitted in really well, and I said to him in the changing room after the game that I was proud to see him out there after all the work he has put into a long rehab. Our medics have done a lot with him, which he has given back in terms of effort, and that was definitely a positive.
“I thought Josh Barton also added a lot of tempo when he came on in the second half, which is what we’d spoken about, and the fixes from tonight are all in our control.
“They were just mental errors – people being in the wrong place or not doing what they’ve been asked to do – and it’s within our control to put those things right.”
Despite the late drama Walder showed only reserved signs of celebration, explaining: “I always say the result doesn’t matter too much in pre-season, but of course it’s nice to win any game with a last-minute try.
“We’re not singing from the roof-tops about it, but ultimately we found a way.
“It’s not about the result because we’re disappointed with the performance – especially in the first half.
“I think 95% of that are things we can put right, and make sure we’re in a better place next Saturday at home to Harlequins.”
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