Evan Olmstead is braced for a full-on tussle against Bristol at Kingston Park Stadium on Saturday despite the newly-promoted outfit finding the going tough in the Aviva Premiership.
The Canadian international forward played for London Scottish last season in the Greene King IPA Championship, a league which Bristol dominated before going on to lose their first five Premiership matches.
Olmstead said: “I played a little bit of Championship rugby at the start of the year, and the Premiership is just a completely different kettle of fish.
“Those guys have been used to being the bully boys of the Championship for the last few years, they have had a couple of unlucky promotion games which have kept them down but they are now learning, like I am, what it is like to step up to the next level. We have a good squad here, we have experience, and hopefully we can put it back on them. We will just capitalise on the opportunities we get.”
Well aware Bristol will be targeting Saturday’s 3pm kick-off, he said: “We know that they will be bringing the heat.
“Obviously we finished 11th last season, and as much as we know it is a cup final for Bristol, we also have our own targets we are looking at. That obviously involves beating Bristol, and you can’t be dropping games at home against teams who are below you in the ladder. We will absolutely put in our best performance and make sure we come away with four points.
“Bristol, with being in the Championship recently, they will have a big scrummaging and maul foundation. They have mauled over for tries against Wasps and Exeter, who are no slouches, we know they will bring big physicality and that guys will be coming in from all angles. It is not all straight and square, they will be flying in and we need to be ready for that.”
Olmstead’s Falcons have won two of their five games this season and collected a pair of losing bonus points, the most recent of which came from last weekend’s 11-9 loss at Worcester.
He said: “It has been a bit of a mixed bag. Generally it has been quite positive, we have a couple of really close losses, a couple of victories and obviously one terrible game at Bath. Leading from an unbeaten pre-season to beat Sale in our first league game, we had a pretty good performance against Leicester and a great result at Gloucester the week after. We can’t complain in some ways, we are in a decent spot compared to where we were last year and hopefully we just keep pushing onwards.
“Once I knew I was coming to Newcastle I started watching them very closely, and it just looks now like we are playing with more confidence. Against Gloucester we didn’t have the ball for most of the game but our defence was strong, and we took our opportunities when they came. Last week at Worcester was a bit the other way round where we didn’t convert because of our basics, but we have been working on that and the boys’ skills will be at the front of their minds. You can sometimes get so focused on moves and what-not that you forget about the basics, but we have refocused this week and will take care of business.”
Tickets for Saturday’s Newcastle Falcons v Bristol game are available by calling 0871 226 6060 or by clicking here.
Evan Olmstead is sponsored by Everyone Active. For more information click here.