Photo by Dave Rogers, Getty Images

Blair ready to go head to head with Sharks

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Newcastle Falcons scrum-half Mike Blair is geared up for Friday’s Aviva Premiership hit-out with Sale Sharks at The Salford City Stadium (kick-off 8pm).

Blair, 32, played the full 80 minutes of last weekend’s televised Premiership opener with Bath Rugby in monsoon conditions.

And despite suffering a 21-0 defeat at the hands of the West Countrymen, the experienced Scot is confident going into the Sale clash.

“I’m really looking forward to the match with Sale, and we are under no illusions that it will be challenging game,” said Scotland’s most capped No.9 of all time.

“Against Bath the weather certainly didn’t help us as our squad is made up of players who like to move the ball about and challenge opposition defences.

“Unfortunately the conditions didn’t allow us to do that, and we couldn’t quite adapt to the elements,” added Blair.

A series of penalties from the boot of George Ford coupled with a Leroy Houston touchdown and a penalty try won the day for Bath.

Recalling his first taste of Premiership rugby, Blair said: “It was a disappointing night and we ended up being under an enormous amount of pressure in the scrums.

“Bath also had a very solid base to work from with George Ford kicking his goals, and it was hard to turn around the 6-0 deficit after the break.

“We’ll learn from that though, and hopefully we won’t have too many games with weather as bad as that, starting with this Friday.

“It was the first weekend of September and I couldn’t even feel my fingers – I woke up on Saturday morning following the game and the garden was under sunshine and I wasn’t happy.

“In the days building up to the game and the days that subsequently followed it the weather was absolutely fine, but on game day we were hit with the wind and heavy rain.

“Obviously we expect that there will be games like that, but we’ll be better for it in the end.”

There will be live updates of Friday’s match via the Falcons’ official Twitter feed as well as match commentary on BBC Radio Newcastle.

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