Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Walder Not Carried Away by Praise

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Walder Not Carried Away by Praise

Article excerpt

Byline: By Duncan Madsen

Dave Walder will be taking nothing for granted when he runs out at Kingston Park tomorrow afternoon for the Falcons' crunch Heineken Cup Pool Five tie against French giants Perpignan (2.30).

The 26-year-old fly half may be flavour of the month after his man-of-the-match showing at Newport last weekend after being drafted in as Jonny Wilkinson's replacement, but the England international knows all too well that he is only as good as his next game.

"Sport is very fickle, and I am only too well aware of that," said Walder, who again starts at No 10 against the Catalans.

"I haven't done myself justice over the season as a whole, in all honesty, but I'm playing fly half now and enjoying it. I realise I haven't taken all my chances so far, but now that I have a bit of a run at fly half I'll be trying to put that right."

Walder, who kicked the corners superbly and hit his defensive lines well last weekend, said of tomorrow's encounter: "We have to win the ball up front and then hopefully play a bit more rugby if the conditions allow us to.

"Last week the weather dictated that we weren't allowed to play and we adapted well. It was winning rugby, although we know it wasn't good to watch, and we came off that pitch happier than we have at any point during the season after the final whistle.

"We know what we're up against tomorrow and we have to change our game plan accordingly and not only do that, but make sure we carry it out for the full 80 minutes."

Walder will find himself up against a wily opponent in Perpignan's Australian fly half Manny Edmonds, who was this week named as France's player of the season for 2003/4 after helping his side to the French Championship final.

"Edmonds is a top-class player, very much in the same mould as the likes of Duncan McRae," added Walder.

"He's got a very good all-round game, reads the play well and has an excellent boot to kick the corners and bring other people into the game. …

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