Nili Latu says Newcastle Falcons will climb straight back on the horse following their American adventure, with a relentless Aviva Premiership schedule handing them a trip to Bath on Saturday.
The Falcons’ last league match took place in Philadelphia last Saturday where they were defeated by European champions Saracens, and Latu insists the long journey will not be used an excuse this weekend.
“It has been a pretty short turnaround after landing back in the UK on Monday but the most important thing is we’ve had a lot of rest and recovery factored into our schedule,” said Tonga’s most-capped player.
“We’ve built as the week has gone on and we feel like we’re ready to go down to Bath and give a good account of ourselves. We can’t afford to turn up feeling tired or sorry for ourselves, and that’s not what we’ll do.”
On the American experience as a whole, the hard-hitting back row man said: “It was good, apart from the fact we’d have loved to have come away with the win.
“You’ve just got to learn from your last game and prepare for the next one. The heat over there was a bit of a shock to the system but both teams went through the same thing with that. It was a good trip overall but it would have been better if we’d got the win.”
Taking a longer-term view with the Falcons entering the weekend at fourth in the table, Latu said: “Our pre-season was great, and even with the disappointment of losing last weekend it has still been a pretty good start to the Aviva Premiership season from us.
“We’re two from three, and the biggest learning curve from the Saracens game is the fact they’ve been champions of England or Europe on a regular basis. We have to understand what went wrong, work on those things and that’s how we’ll become an even better team. But we’re still excited about the season, we believe in what we’re doing and we’re going down to Bath to win the game.
“Bath have some great international players who are leaders in their team but we have to back our ability and deliver our game plan on the day.
“I’ve played at the Rec a couple of times and it’s a fairly unique ground. It feels almost like they lifted up a rugby pitch from somewhere and just dropped it into the city centre, but it’s a beautiful setting with all the old buildings and things around it. We’ve just got to go down there now and make sure we deliver the kind of performance we’ve shown we’re capable of.”