The search for that elusive 80-minute performance is fuelling Newcastle Falcons’ desire for improvement as they fly into Sunday’s trip to Yorkshire Carnegie, says Tom Arscott.
The full-back starts in the Greene King IPA Championship clash as the Falcons look to record their 15th victory in a row, travelling to Leeds to face a side rooted to the bottom without a victory to their name.
“We’ve not put in an 80-minute performance yet, and last Friday against Doncaster was the classic example of that,” said the 32-year-old, who has scored two tries in his ten appearances this season.
“We weren’t quite there for the first 25-30 minutes when they had about 75% of the possession, but we switched it on for the last ten minutes of the half with three quick tries. We got the bonus point straightaway after half-time, but we need to be doing it from the start rather than half an hour in.”
Taking nothing for granted as they visit Headingley for the first time since their 2013 promotion play-off semi-final first leg loss, Arscott insisted: “One thing we’ve not struggled with this year is complacency.
“Even when we’re winning games every week we’re still hard on each other and very honest in our appraisal of the performance, and we know we haven’t hit the levels we’re capable of.
“That attention to detail keeps us on the straight and narrow, and when we do eventually string it all together over a proper 80 minutes you’ll start to see some big scores in our favour.
“We’ve set ourselves goals throughout the year, and we’re just moving into another block of games which we want to go through unbeaten.
“Yorkshire Carnegie have been struggling this season but they’ve got good players, and they’re improving. There’s a target on our back every weekend with being the top-of-the-league team, and we’re aware that every team wants to knock us off our perch.
“The thing for us is just to stick to our jobs and stick to our game plan.”
Playing a handful of games for Yorkshire Carnegie back in 2017 before heading to French club Rouen, the full-back said of their current plight: “You never want to see a team struggling – especially a side like Leeds who have been up there in the Premiership within the past decade or so and done well in the Championship.
“I know there’s a lot of stuff gone on behind the scenes there which it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on, but they’ve got good players and we’re not taking them lightly at all on Sunday.”
Glad to have enjoyed a run of games and regained his form, he added: “Last year was obviously difficult with being in and out of the team and where we were in the league, but we’ve got a lot of good players who are ready and able to perform.
“There’s always someone waiting in the wings to come and take your spot if you’re not doing the business, but I’ve been really pleased to get some game time this season and to have hopefully given a reasonable account of myself.”