Newcastle Falcons Back Row Nili Latu speaks after the Falcons’ trip to Leicester Tigers.
Despite having come out on the wrong side of the final result, Newcastle Falcons’ Nili Latu believes his team can take a great deal of pride from their Boxing Day match against Leicester Tigers.
“We may not have got the win but I’m proud of how the boys played.” The versatile Back Row said, speaking shortly after the final whistle.
Having turned out for the Falcons at No. 8, the Boxing Day encounter represented Latu’s first trip to Welford Road after his arrival into the Aviva Premiership earlier this season.
“It’s a hard place to come, especially with such a loud crowd out there so full credit to their support for that, but also full credit to Leicester for the way they came back to win the game.”
However the Tongan national captain was keen to focus the majority of his praise on his own side, explaining: “We had to test ourselves throughout the game but it was a matter of pride to us to keep fighting right up to the final whistle.
“We knew they were going for that bonus point but we didn’t want to give in and full credit to our boys that we stuck in.”
Drawing 10 all at half time after a thrilling first half, the Falcons put in a strong and gutsy performance in their round seven Aviva Premiership clash.
The North East side’s forwards proved particularly dominant throughout the match, acquitting themselves well against a physical Leicester pack.
“We’ve got a young pack and it’s really pleasing,” Latu commented. “We’re really hungry to get that result and I think it showed out there which is good.
“It makes it easier on a Monday morning to know that even though we didn’t get the result everyone gave their all and put their bodies on the line.”
Despite their efforts though, a victory against Leicester was not to be, the side currently sitting at third in the league walking away from the game as 22-10 victors. However Latu insists his side remain determined.
“It may not have been a great season for us so far results-wise but I’m really proud of the way the team have conducted ourselves. No one wants to come out and make a trip without winning and we showed a lot of fight out there because winning is very much what we wanted to do.
“You have to take the positives out of the game and take those forward ready for next weekend.”
The first weekend of 2016 will see the Falcons return home to face ninth-placed Bath at Kingston Park Stadium.
“The boys are really looking forward to playing Bath, especially at home. We want to build something strong up North where teams have to fight for a result when they come up. We can take a lot of positives from today’s game and build on those next week when we’ll be going out there to put in a good performance.”
The game against Bath Rugby takes place next Saturday, 2nd January, at Kingston Park Stadium (ko 3pm). Tickets for that game are available now online, in person from the East Stand Ticket Office or by calling the Falcons’ 24 hour hotline on 0871 226 6060.