Nili Latu

Latu: That was for the fans

Sunday 17 April 2016

Man of the match Nili Latu dedicated Sunday’s 13-6 win over London Irish to Newcastle Falcons’ supporters, with a season-high crowd of 7,756 cheering the side home.

The Tonga captain was his usual workaholic self in another epic back-row shift, but was keen to credit Newcastle’s supporters for the role they played in Sunday’s pivotal Kingston Park triumph.

Latu said: “The boys have worked really hard for this result – especially for our fans.

“They have been incredibly loyal to us, this is the best place to run out and they are always here getting behind us. When the team is down they are there to lift us, and it is good to celebrate a result with them. It is an awesome feeling.”

Admitting it had not been a vintage display but crediting his side for seeing the job through, the Tonga captain said: “Hats off to the boys. We dug in really deep today. We knew Irish were going to take the game to us, we didn’t play perfectly by any means but we were happy to come away with the win.

“We had our fair share of the ball but kept kicking it away and making silly mistakes. Our discipline at times looked like it was going to cost us, and we have to take a look at ourselves before our next game against Saracens. If we get our set-piece and our system right we are a good team, and we have a bit of time now to sort that out.

“We knew we had to play out of our skins today. We have had some pressure to deal with, it was always about doing the little things right and getting our game plan right. It wasn’t the perfect performance, we had to defend the last 15 minutes but it shows how desperate we were just to get the game won.”

Despite enjoying a seven-point buffer between themselves and the relegation spot with two games to play, Latu insisted the Falcons’ focus would not be allowed to drop.

He said: “No, the pressure is not yet off, and it never will be. We want to finish off strongly, anything can still happen and the only thing we are celebrating is victory over London Irish.

“The season hasn’t been the way we wanted it. I think we have shown in parts how good we are as a team but we have had our backs against the wall and been under a lot of pressure.”

Falcons supporters are reminded that Monday 5pm is the final deadline for early-bird season tickets for the 2016-17 campaign. To book call 0871 226 6060, pop to Kingston Park in person or visit the tickets section of the official club website.

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