Young eyes Cup gains

Thursday 09 November 2017 Written by: Adam

The Falcons are top of their group following last weekend’s 53-41 win at Wasps, the side they face again next Saturday upon the resumption of league duties.

Young said: “I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have an eye on Wasps, because these two Anglo-Welsh Cup games were always approached with the mind-set of making sure we’re in the best possible shape for that Premiership return.

“Having said that, the way in which we can get ourselves in great condition for next weekend is by beating Cardiff Blues and putting in a big performance, so it’s one and the same thing really. That momentum will be felt down at Wasps, and it’s a good place to be at the moment.”

The England Saxons international is back in the No 9 shirt after an injury-interrupted year, saying: “Pre-season and the beginning of the season didn’t go as well for me personally as I’d have hoped, but it was really good for the boys. It was tough sitting there and having nothing to do with it but I’ve been working hard off the pitch, and thankfully things are starting to go in the right direction.

“A lot of the thanks goes to the medical staff and our strength and conditioning coaches, and it’s awesome to get a bit of game time. I want to build up some form and go from there, but I’m glad the boys have started the season well.

“The club is in a good place at the moment, top of our group in Europe, top of our Anglo-Welsh pool and doing better in the Premiership. Given our history it’s a bit of a leap but it’s the result of a lot of hard work, and we need to keep ourselves grounded. The reason we’re doing better is because we’re driving the standards in training every day, and where we are now is only a starting point.

“We’re not where we want to be in the Premiership right now, we’ve dropped a few places and although we’ve started the cups well we’re less than halfway through the group stage. No trophies are won in November and we need to keep producing performances to fulfil the goals we have for ourselves.”

Reflecting on last week’s 14-try blitz at Wasps, he added: “It was a bizarre game to say the least and didn’t bode well for either team’s defence.

“From an attacking side there was lots of positive stuff and a big ball-in-play time, and some boys really stepped up. It was a case of just trying to keep up with the speed of play rather than controlling things, because there wasn’t much control going on. It was quick, it was enjoyable but it was by no means the finished article.

“We’ve got to tighten our defence a lot because we were pretty lax there, and Cardiff Blues are a good team who will exploit it if we give them opportunities. They have a lot of talented and exciting players and we have to be on the ball.”

Crediting the improved levels of competition for much of Newcastle’s early-season form, Young said: “Dean has done a great job in assembling a squad where we have depth in every area, and the coaches have done well in getting the best out of those boys.

“It eradicates complacency and you just have to watch one of our sessions during the week to see the level of competition among the squad. Boys are going hammer and tongs at each other because they want one of those jerseys, and you have to fight for it.”

Keen to do it for the supporters on Saturday after falling in their last home outing against Leicester, he added: “We had our first sell-out in nine years and, if we’re honest, we let those fans down with the way we performed on the day.

“They are the guys who pay their money to come down and watch us, and it’s a massive motivation this weekend to put that right because we never really gave a proper account of ourselves. It’s our turn now to make sure we put it right, and to reward those guys who turn up every week to come and support us.”

Tickets for Saturday’s 5pm kick-off against Cardiff Blues can be bought by [**clicking here**][1] or calling 0871 226 6060.

The day’s events start at 1.30pm when Infantry North and Artillery North play against each other on the main field, with the England v Argentina game being shown at 3pm in the Tap & Tackle Bar.

A bugler playing the Last Post and a two-minute silence will precede the Falcons v Cardiff Blues game, with the Royal British Legion in attendance collecting for the Poppy Appeal.