Scott MacLeod admitted it was no thing of beauty as Newcastle Falcons ground out a 22-7 Premiership Rugby Cup victory over Bath in awful conditions, but praised the progress being made by his side.
The three-try triumph extended Newcastle’s unbeaten run to five matches, line-out coach MacLeod saying afterwards: “It was a scrappy old game and we’re disappointed not to have got the bonus point, but it’s a win and we’re building some momentum for the return to the Gallagher Premiership next week.
“We kicked too much ball away during the first half and we were frustrated by not finding that fourth try, but we can’t be too down because we still won the game.
“It’s probably a sign of how far we’ve come as a club that we can be so low key after a reasonably comfortable victory, but we’re setting high standards and always looking to improve.”
Asked about his own area of the game, the former Scotland lock said: “From my side I thought both second rows played well, Andrew Davidson was worthy of his man of the match award and it was nice to see John Hardie coming on from the bench for his home debut. He’ll be a big asset to this team, Joel Hodgson went well again at ten and there were a number of guys who stood up.
“We stole something like seven of their line-outs, and the lads responded to the tells we’d told them about regarding Bath’s set-piece.
“As a line-out coach they’re a really exciting group to work with because they cover all the bases between them, they listen to advice and they’re really taking teams on in the line-out.”
Putting the evening into perspective, MacLeod added: “It was a tough night, the weather conditions were awful and you can probably forgive a few mistakes when it’s as bad as that out there.
“The supporters who came out, and not only that but stayed out, during that wind and rain deserve a medal, and at least we were able to get the win for them. Yes, we would have liked a bit more, but we’re moving forward.
“It’ll be tough to pick the team for next week, that’s for sure.”