Stockton rocket Stevenson aims to stay on the rails

Tuesday 7 January 2020

Local flyer Ben Stevenson hopes to help take Newcastle Falcons’ unbeaten run past the eight-month mark on Friday when the Greene King IPA Championship leaders host Doncaster Knights.

The Falcons have won all 13 of their fixtures this season, with Stockton native Stevenson averaging a try every 62 minutes after racing in for seven scores in his nine appearances.

Among that number was a 90-metre interception score the last time Newcastle and Doncaster met on December 7, Stevenson scoring one of six Falcons tries in a 43-14 victory.

“In terms of the team, I don’t think we’ve properly clicked yet to the extent that we want to, but we’ve still been going well and getting the results,” said the 21-year-old, who is benefiting from a full-time focus after graduating from his law degree at Durham University in the summer.

“I still think we’ve got another 20 or 30 per cent in us, but we’re beating teams and scoring somewhere in the region of 40 points on a regular basis.”

Newcastle are currently eight points clear at the summit of the Championship after just seven of the 22 rounds, and remain one of only three English teams at level five or above to have won all of their games this campaign.

Also flying in the Championship Cup after reaching the quarter-finals as top seeds and unbeaten in their four reserve games, Stevenson’s is among the many local accents around Kingston Park as a homegrown core aims to help the club bounce back to the top flight at the first attempt.

“Nobody ever wants to get relegated, but being in the Championship this season has meant that the likes of myself, George Wacokecoke, Adam Radwan and Rob Farrar, to name just a few, have had a bit more of an opportunity,” he said, speaking in an interview for Friday’s match programme.

“It’s given us the chance to build up that base of experience, and it’s great for the club as well to be able to showcase some more of the local talent that has come through in our area.

“Hopefully if we do go up, as everyone believes we can, then that will give us a good foundation of homegrown players in the Premiership.”

Taking nothing for granted against a Doncaster side who were beaten 57-0 on their last visit to Kingston Park Stadium on September 29, the Teessider said: “They’re a dangerous side.

“They made life really difficult for us when we played them away from home last month, and it was only in the last 10 or 15 minutes that we really started to pull away.

“I don’t think the scoreboard really told the full story that day, and Doncaster can play.”

Tickets for Friday’s 8pm kick-off are available by clicking here, calling 0871 226 6060 or visiting the ticket office in person.

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