Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rugby Union: Top Side Bath Do Not Scare Us - Phil; Defiant Skipper Looks for a Win

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rugby Union: Top Side Bath Do Not Scare Us - Phil; Defiant Skipper Looks for a Win

Article excerpt

Byline: Alan Hedley

SKIPPER Phil Dowson has dismissed any suggestion that Newcastle Falcons will be adopting a damage limitation approach when they take on third-top

Bath at The Rec today.

"There's been no talk of that at all," said the England Saxons No 8. "We want to win games and have the philosophy that if we are losing 22-20 in the last minute then I will quite happily pass Tom May the ball to see if he can kick a drop goal."

That's exactly what Newcastle tried to do at league leaders Gloucester two weeks ago when they were hauled back from a strong winning position at 20-9 to see May's last-gasp drop goal attempt charged down and Gloucester score as a result - leaving the Falcons without even a losing bonus point "That's the philosophy of this team.

We're not a losing bonus point team. We want to win games and take four points away from all the games," said Dowson.

"At the start of the year our priority was to win silverware, get into Europe and be in or around the top four in the Premiership at the end of the season.

"It's not good to be at ninth or 10th or wherever we are and we need to win games. Teams around us like Quins, Wasps and Irish have been winning recently which takes them away but the top teams are within touching distance so the league is open and there are upsets every week.

"Quins did a job on Gloucester last week and we have to go down to Bath full of confidence and it may well come down to last kick of the game or a refereeing decision and this time we just have to make sure we're on the right side of that."

The Falcons game against Wasps was called off last Friday because of high winds and the Newcastle players have enjoyed the break. "Physically we're all in good shape because of that," added Dowson.

"We've used that our advantage, but we were disappointed not to play last week and we have been analysing the last result at Gloucester where for 60 minutes we looked the top-of-the-table side and then for the last 20 we made a lot of errors and showed tactical naivety and we threw a lead away "One of the positives from that is that we were in that position in the first place and that the decision-makers in the team will have learned from it and when we're in that position again we won't make the same mistakes again. …

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