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Dave Walder pins points key moment in Newcastle's home defeat

London Irish's Josh Caulfield (right) and Newcastle Falcons' Sebastian de Chaves contest a lineout during the Gallagher Premiership match at Kingston Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. Picture date: Sunday March 5, 2023. (Photo by Will Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)

Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder singled out a lost lineout in the second half of a 34-19 defeat to London Irish as the turning point in the encounter at Kingston Park.


Having fought back from 19-0 down to level the scores, Falcons then saw Matt Cornish cross to put Irish back in front.

However, having already scored one try through Carl Fearns from a rolling maul, they would have hoped to repeat the feat, only for Adam Coleman to produce a vital steal from Jamie Blamire’s throw.

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From there, Irish extended their lead through Ollie Hassell-Collins, and there was no question in Walder’s mind that it was the moment that cost Falcons a chance of victory.

He said: “I think that was the ball game, putting pressure on them. I think we recognised in the box, it was a critical moment and it didn’t go our way. They’ve got a guy in the second row who’s got however many caps for Australia – he read the lineout pretty well and nicked it off us, I think it’s more the reaction to that.

“It took the wind out of our sails. Their second score takes the game away. It’s a different ball game for the last 20 minutes.”

Falcons had already pulled off one impressive comeback, falling 19-0 down early on to tries from Josh Basham, Tom Pearson and Danilo Fischetti.


But having done all that hard work, Walder was disappointed for those who had braved the conditions that his side could not complete the job.

He added: “The atmosphere this morning around the place was buzzing, they came in the rain and our community team have done a great job of getting everyone through the doors and it was really disappointing that we couldn’t give them something to shout about really.

“They stuck with us and gave us some noise when we got back into it, but unfortunately, they’re probably going home disappointed – as are we with ultimately the performance that wasn’t quite there for us.”

Irish moved up to fifth with this victory, a fourth in their last five in the league and second in a row on the road.


And head coach Les Kiss was keen to point out just what an achievement it was to take five points at Kingston Park.

He said: “It’s a good win – to win up here is a good achievement for any team. The start was good, it was exactly what we needed to take away what this crowd had presented here, but we had our fair share of some really good, hardy travellers here to support us.

“We just lost our way a little bit, but also we talked all week about how they stay in the fight – we saw at Saracens they have people who just believe who they are and I believe Dave’s done a brilliant job with this team.

“They’re never dead and buried, they just keep coming back at you. Half-time we addressed that, this is what the game is, we knew this wouldn’t be an easy game, and we had to fight for every inch.

“We managed to come out of that middle third of the game and get back to the things we’re good at – a great counter-try and a few other things that kept the pressure in their half.”


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