Green: Falcons out to resume winning ways on Friday

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Lock-forward Calum Green says Newcastle Falcons are determined to shake off last week’s loss at Worcester and return to winning ways in Friday night’s northern ‘derby’ against Sale Sharks.

The 7.45pm kick-off sees the Falcons looking to preserve an unbeaten home streak which stretches back to late November, Green insisting his side have learned the lessons from Saturday’s reverse at Sixways.

He said: “We went down there with every intention of getting a win, but Worcester were in the situation whereby a victory would pretty much guarantee their survival.

“It’s not an excuse on our part and we were bitterly disappointed with how things panned out, but they’re a good side and threw absolutely everything at us. I don’t think we played well but there’s a huge determination to turn it around on Friday night against Sale.”

The Falcons sit fifth in the Aviva Premiership table with Sale breathing down their necks a point behind in sixth, Green topping the Premiership’s Opta stats for both line-outs won and line-out steals.

He said: “We went in 13-6 up at half-time last weekend despite having not played well at all, and in the second half we fell apart a little bit. That’s been unlike us this season and the boys are disappointed.

“The good thing this week has been that we came in on Monday, got it all out there and scrutinised the video in a very honest way. We’ve done that and moved on, which you have to do when you’re facing a quality side like Sale. They’ve got a big pack, some good players behind the scrum and we’re really looking forward to taking them on.

Newcastle were 13-12 winners when they last met Sale away from home in September, Green dominating the line-out at the AJ Bell Stadium against a Sharks side who have taken some notable scalps this season.

“It’s nice to see two northern clubs up there pushing for top four, even for someone from Norwich,” joked Green.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the north, both sides have a lot of quality about them and from the Newcastle perspective we’re just looking to put in a proper performance.

“Our form this season has been pretty good, and we need to remember that, even taking into account last week at Worcester. We’ve stepped up our game as a collective unit in the forwards this season, and that’s what makes last week so frustrating. Sale have got a very strong set-piece so we know we have to step up, and that’s the area where it all begins.

“With Faf de Klerk at scrum-half we have to be on our guard for those snipes around the breakdown, he finds every little gap and we have to be red hot on making sure he’s kept quiet.

“We play against good players every week in the Premiership so it’s no different to any other game in that sense, but he along with all of the Sale players will get our absolute full respect when they come up here.”

Hoping for a bumper crowd and relishing the prospect of playing under the Friday night lights, the man with 92 Falcons appearances under his belt added: “I love playing here on Friday nights, and if I’m honest I much prefer it to the daytime games.

“I know a lot of boys are the same because there’s just something about floodlit rugby, and the crowd seem to get right into it. The atmosphere is always great, our fans are buzzing for it and after last week’s poor performance we feel like we owe them one.”

Tickets for Friday’s 7.45pm kick-off are available by calling 0871 226 6060, clicking here or from the stadium on the day.

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