Newcastle head coach Dave Walder has insisted his Falcons players haven’t set out to “bore the pants off people” despite basing their opening two Gallagher Premiership victories over Bath and Sale around a kicking game and pick-and-go carries by the forwards.
Half-backs Micky Young and Brett Connon kicked the ball 42 times in Newcastle’s 15-13 win over Sale, adding to the impression that the boot is now dominating rugby.
Forwards Gary Graham and George McGuigan also combined to carry the ball 40 times last Friday night, adding to the 34 carries they delivered in the victory at Bath that signalled Newcastle’s return to the top flight.
Walder, the ex-England outside half, said: “It’s about winning and the stakes are high. We don’t necessarily go out to bore the pants off people, but we do go out to win games.
“Our game management has given us the chance to win both matches and as we go along we will develop our game. We know we won’t beat teams doing the same thing for the rest of the season.
Only 2?? teams remain unbeaten after 2?? rounds…
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) December 1, 2020
“We have snuck under the radar in the first two weeks but are on the radar now and it’s about how we handle that. Everyone seems to write us off every year and it’s just part of being at the Falcons. We have a group of players who don’t mind being written off.
“I’m not sure if we imagined this kind of start. On paper you play three of the top five teams from last season – two away from home – having not played for eight months, I don’t think anyone knew what would go on.
“We were confident within the group and we played well at Bath where we caught them cold and dominated the territorial side. Against Sale we ground out a win in the last four minutes which showed great character,” continued Walder ahead of next Saturday’s round three Premiership trip for Newcastle to 2019/20 finalists Wasps.
“Wasps were one disputed penalty away from winning the Premiership title last season and are a very good side. They have some brilliant players and Lee Blackett has done a great job. Jacob Umaga (Wasps No10) is a really bright footballer and has a very languid style and you underestimate him at your peril.”
Regarding the impact new defence coach Nick Easter, the ex-England captain, is having since joining Newcastle, Walder added: “Nick Easter has come on board and has been a good addition with his ideas and is challenging a few of things which we have possibly got into a habit of over years and that has been good. We were on a winning streak when the Championship came to an abrupt end and confidence is high and we have started well.”
Thanks to Liam at RugbyPass for this piece on @FalconsRugby new season, promotion and relegation, the 8 month break and my inability to not walk past the fridge without checking what’s inside! https://t.co/ShsLYOkg8L
— Mick Hogan (@MickHogan2) November 15, 2020
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