Mark Wilson says Newcastle Falcons need to show the same levels of desire and desperation against Leicester Tigers on Sunday which served them so well a fortnight ago.
The East Midlands side visit Kingston Park Stadium in a 3pm kick-off, Newcastle looking to regain the form which saw them open the Aviva Premiership campaign with a 19-17 home victory over Sale Sharks on September 2.
Following that up with a heavy loss at Bath last time out, the back-row workhorse said: “It was a bad afternoon for us. Every team has those but we have tried to park it as quickly as we can. The truth is we just didn’t turn up, and I suppose if you’re trying to put a positive spin on it you could say at least it has happened early doors. For the rest of the season now we know we can’t take any team lightly, we have got to turn up with the same attitude we had against Sale Sharks and we do that most of the time.
“We didn’t prepare ourselves mentally for what was ahead down at Bath. Any team away in the Aviva Premiership is going to be tough, you have got to dig deep each time and realise what it’s going to take. That equates to desperation, desire, and I think we just lacked that. The week before we had shown it in abundance, and it is a case of replicating that.
“In a rugby sense it’s not a coaching issue or something we’re not doing right. Our attack went OK when we actually got the ball but it is just simple little things, lapses in concentration, boys not working as hard in defence, but we know all that and we have parked it now. They are all easy fixes, and that’s the beauty. The top two inches are where we need to sharpen up.”
Having beaten the Tigers on their last visit to the North East, Wilson said: “We have a good record against Leicester, we defeated them here last season and we know how to do it. It’s not rocket science, and every professional player should get excited about playing at home against a top side like them. It’s always an exciting challenge against Leicester, they have some of the top players in the league and we are definitely up for it.
“Leicester might have lost at home to Wasps last weekend but you’ve got to respect them for what they are. Everyone knows they are a quality side but we have got to have the same mentality we did last year when we beat them at Kingston Park. They are coming to our home pitch and we need to do to them what they do to most teams. We need to show the kind of desperation we did when we beat Sale up here in our first game, and I’m sure we will do that.
“They have weaknesses and strengths like any other side, but overall it is more about us wanting to impose our game on them. We are confident the things we are doing are the right things, and it is just making it happen.”
Having been roared on so vocally during their last home outing, the energetic forward insisted: “The crowd definitely have a part to play.
“In our first game against Sale there were 5,500 inside the ground, but it felt like the place was full. The noise was amazing, the energy we got from that was a massive boost on the field and hopefully we can have that kind of advantage again on Sunday.
“You can look at it any way, but with what happened last weekend the boys want to rectify it. We want to prove a point, and what better way than by beating Leicester?”
Tickets for the 3pm kick-off are available by clicking here or calling 0871 226 6060, the Aviva Premiership clash forming the first half of a cross-code double header as Newcastle Thunder rugby league face North Wales Crusaders at 5.15pm in the Kingstone Press League 1 Shield final. Supporters with tickets for the Falcons game are welcome to stay inside the ground for that match at no additional cost.