Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Have Learned Our Lesson: Tane

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Have Learned Our Lesson: Tane

Article excerpt


TANE Tu'ipulotu reckons Newcastle Falcons will not repeat last year's mistakes at London Irish tomorrow. Irish did a damaging double over Newcastle last term, hammering the Falcons 48-8 at the Madejski Stadium in January.

The Falcons coaches have since admitted that was the game which forced the whole squad to turn things around, so low did it grind them.

Shortly after that rout, Newcastle strung six Premiership wins together to secure their safety and climb clear of the relegation issue.

After a big summer squad change and indifferent early form, Tongan midfield enforcer Tu'ipulotu believes the Falcons are well-primed to match high-flying Irish in Reading (kick-off 3.00).

Running through hurtful memories, Tu'ipulotu said: "When they came here it was my first game at Kingston Park, and they beat us well here.

"Especially when we went to their ground, they played quite an expansive game of rugby down there.

"So we are not going to make the same mistake as we did last year.

"I believe we have a better team this year with extra depth.

"There might have been talk about who they would lose to international games, but when we have trained for Irish this week we have done so assuming they are at full strength.

"We have put that aside because if you start thinking about that you can go too fabe get thrashed like we did last time out."

Enjoying himself in the centres, the teak-tough Tongan praised summer Leeds signing Rob Vickerman's contribution.

Putting the onus on himself and playmaker Jimmy Gopperth to create space for Vickerman and Newcastle's pacemen, Tu'ipulotu said the Falcons must use the ball wisely against the mean Irish defence. He added: "I am pretty happy with the midfield, and I am pretty happy with the way Rob Vickerman has been going.

"He is one of the top linebreakers in the Premiership, so he has proved his ability to make yards. …

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