Harris out to extend winning streak

Thursday 29 November 2018

Chris Harris is hoping to make it six of the best as Newcastle Falcons try to extend their five-game winning run against Northampton Saints in Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership encounter.

The Falcons have won their last five against the men from the East Midlands and travel to Franklin’s Gardens on the back of last Friday’s 16-8 home win over Bath, Harris stating: “Northampton isn’t an easy place to go but I saw a stat flying around this week saying we’ve won our last five games against them.

“That’s all in the past and doesn’t have any direct bearing on this weekend, but we do at least have the confidence of knowing we can go down there and win. We’ve won away in front of big crowds quite a few times this calendar year so it doesn’t faze us, and we’re looking forward to getting stuck in.”

Plotting the course for a third successive league win at Franklin’s Gardens, the Scotland international added: “Northampton are a decent side and we have to match them physically. That’s the main thing.

“We need to be physical in everything we do - every bit of defence, every single run, just go at them and be totally relentless in bringing a really physical approach to each part of our game. Their crowd can get right behind them when they get their tails up, so we need to quieten them down by getting stuck into them.”

Back in Falcons colours after representing Scotland during the autumn tests, the centre said: “I massively enjoyed the whole thing. It was a good few weeks being away with Scotland and I got a decent amount of game time in the Fiji and South Africa tests, and it was pretty special to be in that environment.

“The Fiji game was a special day and I got to swap my Scotland shirt with my Falcons team-mate Niki Goneva, and they also had Tex Cavubati from Newcastle playing for them. Then against South Africa there was the whole light show with it being a later kick-off, and just an incredible atmosphere playing in front of 67,000 people.”

Released to play in last weekend’s home win over Bath, he added: “Everyone’s confident off the back of a result, even though it wasn’t the prettiest of games. We’ve got a lot to work on but if you can win ugly and still have so much room for improvement, that’s not a bad starting point.

“It was a scrappy old game and we were just relieved to come out on the right end of it, but our work rate and our energy got us through. I think that was the difference but we’ve got a lot to put right, and when we do that we’ll start blowing teams away.

“When you get your basics right and everything’s on the money, you’re laughing. We saw that with the Johnny Williams try last Friday night, and we scored the try because our drills and our lines were spot-on. The issue was we didn’t do it every time, and that’s where we need to improve.”

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