Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Win Would Make a Real Refreshing Change - Bates

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Win Would Make a Real Refreshing Change - Bates

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Purewal

STEVE Bates has called for discipline from his Newcastle Falcons: discipline in conserving energy.

After two quickfire strengthsapping Premiership clashes, the Falcons travel to Gloucester on Saturday (kick-off 3pm), keen to get back to winning ways after Friday night's 28-8 Northampton defeat.

Heading into that Saints Kingston Park contest, the Falcons were fighting to recuperate from the previous Sunday's London Irish heroics - and the residual tiredness showed through.

As the game wore on Saints grew in stature and Newcastle slipped off the pace.

Falcons rugby director Bates admitted as much in the aftermath, and said he will spend some time this week ensuring the same problem does not crop up at Kingsholm come Saturday afternoon.

After allowing his men rest over the weekend, Bates said the Falcons must work out the best way of achieving clinical performance with potentially reduced effort.

That means no wasted graft, so in essence Bates is driving his side towards the most functional and direct game plan possible for the coming weekend.

With Gloucester in the way, the former Borders boss knows striking that balance under the duress provided by the powerful home side will not be an easy task.

Bates has always appreciated the sizeable task of firing the Falcons into Heineken Cup qualification given the relatively small size of his squad, and it is the period from now until mid-January which will prove the biggest test of the campaign.

With tough games coming thick and fast until well beyond the new year, Bates and the rest of the Falcons management are working hard to keep the whole squad as fresh as possible.

Chris Ashton's hat-trick downed the Falcons on Friday night, leaving Saints rugby director Jim Mallinder to allow his players the odd celebratory beer. …

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