Mark Laycock insisted the positives outweighed the negatives as Newcastle Falcons finished their pre-season with a 47-26 away win over Doncaster Knights.
A Falcons side ravaged by injury saw numerous players operating out of position, the first team skills coach and academy manager pleased for the most part by what he saw.
“We’ve come through a lot of adversity in the sense that we had a lot of injuries picked up against Edinburgh the night before, which meant a lot of late changes to the team, and we had to adapt to further injuries in this game,” said Laycock.
“But credit to the lads, they showed a lot of problem-solving ability out there, a lot of them playing in unfamiliar positions, and when you consider all of those factors we actually produced some good rugby.
“We finished the game with just four forwards on the pitch, we had two scrum-halves packing down in the second row and we’re thankful to Doncaster for allowing some lads to switch teams.”
Highlighting the plus points, he added: “There was a lot of character and energy on show, there are a lot of things we can do better but ultimately we’re pretty happy.
“Ben Stevenson was sharp in the backs, Connor Collett got through a lot of work in the back row, Tom Marshall was outstanding with some of his decision-making and Nemani Nagusa showed signs of the impact he can make on his debut for the club.
“Some of the tries we conceded were down to our own faults, which was disappointing, and we started the game slowly, but it’s pre-season and there were a lot of new combinations. All in all it was a useful afternoon’s work, and hopefully helps to set us up for the season.”
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