Attack coach pleased with summer's work, but acknowledges more still to come
Falcons attack coach Dave Walder will be looking to hone his player’s clinical edge this week, in the build-up to the first round of the 2014/2015 Aviva Premiership Rugby season against Leicester Tigers.
The former fly half watched on as the Falcons lost out to Edinburgh Rugby in their final pre-season friendly at Hawick RFC, but came away with the opinion that the club’s pre-season programme will stand them in good stead when the competitive action begins.
Speaking shortly after the match in the Borders, Walder said: “As a group, I think we coaches are pretty happy with where we are at. There is plenty to work on, there always is, but on the whole the boys seem to be gelling well and the game plan is starting to come together. Tonight was certainly closer to what we want to be playing than last week against Rotherham.”
In an entertaining game the Falcons matched the Guinness Pro12 side’s two tries and while the result went the way of Alan Solomon’s side, Walder and his fellow coaches remain adamant that this is of secondary importance.
“We said from the outset that, with new players to bed in, a new coaching setup and game plan that we were looking first and foremost for performance and I think, on the whole we have gotten that. Tonight we played some really good rugby in conditions that weren’t really conducive to that.”
“There were a couple of tries left out on the park, when we made handling errors within site of the line and when we do start for real in the Premiership, we cannot afford to do that, so we’ll be looking at that during the week to see how we can work that through to find the clinical touch.”
“All in all though, I think we can be pleased with our summer’s work. Our patterns, set piece and the like have given us 13 tries in four games so the systems work, we just need to get the precision levels a little bit higher.”
With thoughts now firmly fixed on the season opener at Welford Road a number of players have done the chances of selection no harm with solid performances in the friendlies, something which pleases Walder as he and the rest of the backroom go about settling on a team to face Tigers.
“There’s a bit of competition for places in Tigers team, which is good to see as it will push the whole squad forward. There are a few guys who have put their hand up over the course of pre-season and we’ll have some difficult choices to make next week.”
The Falcons first home game of the new season takes place on Sunday September 14th against London Irish. Tickets are now on sale by clicking here or by calling 0871 226 6060 and there is still time to book your place for the full season by purchasing a 2014/2015 season ticket via the same channels.