Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Keep Their Feet on the Ground

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Keep Their Feet on the Ground

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Hedley

Mark Sorenson reckons Falcons boss John Fletcher has been "bang on the money" all week as Newcastle prepare for today's Guinness Premiership clash at London Irish.

The Kiwi lock (pictured, right) joined Fletcher in urging the Falcons squad to keep their feet on the ground despite last week's 37-11 thumping of London Wasps.

"Fletch has been bang on the money in not getting too excited about the Wasps game, because there was still a lot we could have done better," said Sorenson.

"Some of our tries did fall in to our lap a bit but, having said that, we were the dominant side and felt we deserved the overall result. Wasps did turn over a lot of ball, but we applied pressure to them and forced some of those mistakes, so while we do have a lot still to learn from the match, there was plenty of good to take out of it."

The Bay of Plenty hard man, along with fellow Kiwi Joe McDonnell and South African Russell Winter, has been one of the reasons the much-maligned Newcastle pack has finally started to step up and dish out as much punishment as they take and he expects nothing less than a massive physical battle at the Madejski Stadium today.

"It's been enjoyable the way the guys have come together in the forwards. We have had more consistency in selection and the team spirit is fantastic, so there is a real togetherness at the moment, which hopefully we can build on," he added.

"Guys are getting used to playing alongside one another and there is a real expectation and confidence we will perform well when we take the field. There seems to be a firm realisation the hard work simply has to be done, that talking about it isn't enough.

"That sounds like a strange thing to say, because of course the hard yards have to be put in whatever the game, but now that we have set the benchmark in the last two games we have to make sure we put the same effort in and really drive the team forward. Our pack has taken a fair bit of stick from various quarters down the years and Newcastle has become known as a backs-oriented team.

"Yes, we do have a lot of quality in the backs, but we also believe we are making progress up front and we're determined to command respect from people. …

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