Newcastle Falcons face tough test at Northampton

Newcastle Falcons face one of the toughest assignments in English rugby on Saturday at Northampton

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Dean Richards, head coach of the Newcastle Falcons
Dean Richards, head coach of the Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons face one of the toughest assignments in English rugby on Saturday at Northampton.

Winning at Franklin’s Gardens is a big ask for any team, especially with most of Northampton’s international contingent being available to them. Yet again it is a David versus Goliath situation, and the Falcons have just got to keep the faith.

If they make their tackles it is the old, old story, hitting them consistently and stopping them from getting over the gain-line. It doesn’t matter how good a side is, if you don’t allow them to get into their rhythm then they are not going to score points. But if you give quality sides a sniff, they can put the ball into space and do you with the gas they have all over the park.

Northampton are quite forthright upfront, and when you have got that kind of power with people like Lee Dickson, Ben Foden and Luther Burrell outside, then it gives you confidence in your ability to play. I should imagine they will be relishing the prospect of going up against the Falcons, and it is a chance for them to rack up a number of points.

From the Newcastle perspective they have nothing to lose, and they just need to make a nuisance of themselves.

It is down to the spirit that has been engendered in the team, and they just need to front up.

Like England have learnt playing against the All Blacks, a top side like that assumes an omnipotence in that they are something special. Of course they are if you look at them as a whole, but when you break it down they are still 15 individuals made of flesh and blood.

If you hit them hard enough it will hurt them as much as it does when they hit you, and they are not superhuman. They are there to be taken, providing you have enough will and determination to do it.

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