Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Chief to Take a Tough Line

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Chief to Take a Tough Line

Article excerpt

Byline: By Duncan Madsen

Newcastle Falcons will seek a big improvement in their lineout when they take on Leicester at Welford Road in their third Zurich Premiership match tonight (7.45).

Boss Rob Andrew hopes Garath Archer will be able to line up in the second row alongside skipper Mark Andrews after recovering from a strained back, although the former England lock will have a late fitness test and Craig Hamilton is on stand-by.

Andrews has been cleared to play after passing a concussion test following the knock he took on the head against Sale on Sunday.

However, Andrew knows the lineout was a disappointment against Sale and he said: "We need to improve our lineout and we have been working hard on it all week as we cannot afford to lose first-phase ball on our own throw.

"Like a lot of sides in the Premiership this season we haven't quite got into our stride yet, although I was delighted with our defence and work at the breakdown against Sale.

"We made a big step up against Sale and I am hoping for another one tonight.

"Leicester are in the same boat as us and I feel this is a good time to play them at Welford Road."

Lineouts apart, Andrew stresses one of the key aspects this season is the way referees are allowing sides to compete on the ground in the tackle area.

He said: "So far in our two games against Saracens and Sale the two referees (Steve Lander and Tony Spreadbury) have shown a pretty loose interpretation of what the breakdown laws are and as a result it has been a bit of a free-for-all fighting for the ball on the ground.

"We got caught out against Saracens but adapted pretty well last week when I thought we handled it very well. If we hadn't we would have been murdered."

It is in this area Leicester traditionally excel and, although they will be without Neil Back, Martin Corry and Lewis Moody, who invariably take the laws to the limit and beyond, they are led by All Black legend Josh Kronfeld, who knows a thing or two about No 7 play. …

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