Arscott backs Falcons to up their strike rate

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Tom Arscott has backed his Newcastle Falcons side to be more clinical in taking their try-scoring opportunities on Saturday when they make the Greene King IPA Championship trip to Bedford Blues.

The Falcons sit four points clear at the top of the table after winning all four of their games, boasting the meanest defence and the best points difference in the division.

But despite scoring 122 points in their first four games, the second-highest in the league, Arscott believes there is plenty more to come from the league leaders following last weekend’s 42-19 home win over Jersey Reds.

“There were a lot of opportunities last weekend which we didn’t quite execute, but I did manage to finish one off during the first half for the try,” said the full-back.

“In the second half we put together a lot more phases and scored some really good tries, and it’s starting to come.

“We like to play a quick game and to pick the tempo up at the right times, and when we play our attacking shape at that high speed things really start to fall into place for us.”

Quite happy to live with the tag of favourites as they aim to bounce back into the Premiership at the first attempt, the 32-year-old said: “We’re going into every game this season being talked about as the team that should win.

“Every opponent bills themselves as the underdog, and it’s understandable we’re the scalp they all want.

“From our side it’s about kind of removing yourself from that kind of chat and focusing simply on putting our processes into place, and if we execute that game plan we should be winning on a consistent basis.”

Not taking for granted his team’s prospects down at Bedford as they play on the Blues’ famously-sloping pitch, Arscott’s Falcons team are returning to face the club they defeated in the 2013 Championship play-off final the last time they were in England’s second tier.

“It’ll be a tough game down at Bedford, but if we can do the things we’ve done in training this week and take them into game-day then we should be playing the kind of rugby which sees us scoring a good number of tries,” he said.

“In terms of the pitch, we like our 3G surface up here. I don’t know if other teams like coming here, but that’s for them to worry about.

“Our pitch gives us a consistent surface throughout the whole year which we really value, and it’s tough sometimes when you go away to grounds where the grass pitch isn’t as good.

“That’s just something we’ve got to take in our stride, adapt to on the day and not complain about.”

Expecting another big effort from his pack, he added: “Our forwards put in a massive performance last weekend, they gave the backs plenty of opportunities and that foundation is crucial.

“We want to be on top in every aspect of the game, and our forwards are really delivering that platform for us.”

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