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The 'tough little character' who epitomised why Newcastle were good

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Newcastle boss Dave Walder hailed his side’s reaction – and the impact of Mateo Carreras – after last week’s defeat to Worcester as they claimed their first win of the Gallagher Premiership season with a 30-15 victory over Bristol. A brace from Carreras at either end of the match alongside tries from front row forwards Connor Collett and George McGuigan gave Falcons a well-deserved win under the lights at Kingston Park on Friday.


The hosts were 17-3 ahead at the break thanks to three first-half tries but had to weather a second-half storm from the Bears, who sought to make up for their slow start with tries from Henry Purdy and Richard Lane. But the home side held on, with Argentine speedster Carreras grabbing a bonus-point try with the clock in the red.

It left Walder pleased with what he saw after the disappointment of last weekend, which saw the Falcons lose 39-5 to financially troubled Worcester. “We spoke through the week that the performance last week wasn’t to the standard that we expect here and we wanted to make sure that we gave an 80-minute performance, which we did today.

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“From the moment that Brett Connon pulled out this morning we knew that we would be up against it, but we managed to stem the tide. A couple of minutes after we got back up to 15 men we were able to launch a platform for attacking and kept the ball on the right side of halfway.”

Falcons welcomed Argentine duo Matias Orlando and Matias Moroni in midfield, with the duo both starting at centre despite only arriving in the UK from international duty on Monday. Walder was pleased with the immediate impact of his Pumas, alongside the electric performance from Newcastle winger Carreras.

“It makes a real difference bringing in two international centres and then adding onto the wing Carreras and it’s a great backline,” he added. “He [Carreras] is a tough little character and he probably epitomised why we were good tonight.”


While Walder hailed his side, Bears boss Pat Lam slammed his team’s error-strewn performance. Bristol looked little like the side who went into the match top of the Gallagher Premiership table, and Lam believes his charges only have themselves to blame. “It was a disappointing night for us,” admitted Lam.

“I have to say though that Newcastle were absolutely phenomenal tonight. I’m pleased for Dave Walder and his team tonight. If you aren’t there mentally then you are always going to find it a struggle. We just made so many errors that were punished by Newcastle. I’m not sure what the turnover count was tonight, but it wasn’t good.

“We got ourselves back into the game and within two points, but then again it’s another mistake that costs us just when we are getting a little bit of momentum going our way.”


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