Ward plays on underdog status

Sunday 1 May 2016

Front-row coach Micky Ward says Newcastle Falcons’ doubters are giving them all the ammunition they need for this afternoon’s Aviva Premiership assignment at Saracens.

The Falcons visit the league leaders and European finalists on the back of a potentially-crucial win over London Irish, Ward saying: “Nobody on the outside is giving us a chance, we love it when people think that way about us because it just fuels our motivation.

“Saracens are obviously a decent side, and you look through their team sheet they have internationals in every position. They have internationals on the bench, they are the leaders in England and they are through to the European final. Going down there is a challenge for anybody, we all know that and we just need to get stuck into them.”

Buoyed by their 13-6 triumph over London Irish last time out, Ward said: “It was a massive result.

“When you are playing a game with that much riding on it everyone is going to get nervous, no matter how much experienced they are. It was always going to be a tight game given the position we were both in, it was busy and close until the end but I thought our defence was excellent.

“The way the lads bought into it showed the character of the team that we have been building since Christmas. That is very much the ethos of the whole club, and naturally there was a massive sense of relief at winning a game which gives us a great chance now of cementing our place in the Aviva Premiership.”

Insisting his side should never have been so close to the foot of the table, the former England Saxons prop added: “If you look back over the season and some of the games we allowed to get away from us, there are far too many. Bath away, Wasps away and Worcester at home are three that immediately spring to mind, and there are more.

“It has been very fine margins which have decided a lot of big games, and there is a lot of disappointment because we feel we should be in a much better position than we are at the moment. That is for us to look at and review at the end of the season, because the key is making sure we are not in the same position next year.”

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