Nili Latu refused to take any personal glory after grounding a hat-trick during Saturday’s season-ender against Sale Sharks.
The Tonga captain was the arrowhead at the back of Newcastle’s driving maul, dotting down a trio of tries in a 21-15 Aviva Premiership loss.The No 8, who skippered the Falcons in a man-of-the-match performance, said: “I guess I get the credit for the tries but it was a team effort.
“The forwards played really well to put me in those scoring positions and my role really was just to get the ball over the line from a short distance. The credit really should go to the entire team.”
Disappointed not to have ended the campaign on a winning note despite finishing the season as the club’s top try-scorer, Latu said: “We should have scored a few more tries than we did, and that is something we need to work on for the coming season.
“We have to control the ball better when we have it, especially under pressure. We showed glimpses of what we can do as a team but we need to address it going forward.
“I do see great things for this club and this team, and there are definitely a lot of positives. We shouldn’t overlook that but we just need to push on, and I truly believe we can find ourselves further up that table next season.”
Pausing only briefly for breath after a year which has included captaining his country at the Rugby World Cup, he said: “I have a week or so before I head back to Tonga with the national team. There is no real rest but I am really enjoying my rugby, and I am just going to keep going.”