Ward happier with Falcons' progress

Sunday 17 November 2019

Forwards coach Micky Ward said Sunday’s 46-7 victory over Coventry was a truer reflection of Newcastle Falcons’ quality as they opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Greene King IPA Championship.

Chalking up the four-try bonus point inside 50 minutes and pushing on to a ninth win in a row, Ward said: “It’s been hard graft away from home this season and the weather hasn’t been kind to us, but today we really got going and gave people more of an idea of what we’re capable of.

“We were relatively pleased at half-time that we were implementing the pattern and the structures that we’d been working on during the week, and the big focus was on what we could do to get that bonus point and really push the score-line on.”

With the pack instrumental in a convincing display, Ward added: “In general we were pleased with our set-piece, there were a couple of messy ones but I think everyone saw that we were a positive, dominant scrum.

“It was good to get a couple of driving mauls set up and over the try-line because that has been a big work-on for us, and you need that up your sleeve as well as the ability to play expansive rugby.

“The great thing here is that we’ve got a really competitive group, the players are pushing each other every day in training and there’s genuine competition for every position.

“We’ve still got a lot of guys to come back in, and it’s exciting from a coaching perspective to think of the competition we have.”

Disappointed by shipping a second-half try but delighted by his side’s scrambling defence from further Coventry line-breaks, the forwards coach said: “It would have been nice to nil them but we managed a couple of incredible try-savers through Joel Hodgson and Adam Radwan, which to me says a lot about the team’s attitude.

“Coventry had made a couple interceptions, we were leading by 30 or 40 and on some days players might subconsciously think ‘I’ll just let him go, here’.

“It would almost be understandable not to expend that energy when you’re leading by so much, but it’s so pleasing to see the lads driving higher standards and just refusing to give up a try. We don’t want teams to score against us even when we’re well ahead, and we won’t give up any easy tries.

“If one player makes a mistake they’ve got 14 mates there to back them up, and the way we chased back for those two try-savers showed to me that these lads really want to do it for each other.”

Reflecting on the overall start to the campaign as they remain unbeaten in league and cup action, Ward said: “We’re pleased with the results we’ve had in terms of winning every game, but within that there’s a realisation that there’s much more to come.

“We probably saw more of that today, in fairness, but we’ve not been overly pleased with some of our other performances.

“We’ve got high standards and we want to push on, and we can’t fault the lads’ effort. We’ve got areas where we need to do some more work, but at least it’s nice to be doing that after six wins from six in the league.”

Newcastle Falcons are next in action on Friday November 29 when they host Hartpury in the Championship Cup. Ticket for the 8pm Kingston Park kick-off are available by clicking here.

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