Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Determined Tait to Stick to Gameplan; No Change in Falcons' Style despite Defeat

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Determined Tait to Stick to Gameplan; No Change in Falcons' Style despite Defeat

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Purewal

RESOLUTE Alan Tait has told his Newcastle Falcons players to keep offloading despite conceding far too much possession at Sale on Friday night.

Falcons head coach Tait has devised a far more attacking gameplan with assistant Paul Moriarty for the Newcastle side this term.

Based around keep the ball alive and away from contact, the new style relies heavily on players making smart decisions under tackle pressure.

At Edgeley Park in Friday's Aviva Premiership opener, the Falcons failed to hit the required handling heights, though, coughing up far too much ball in the tackle.

Calling on his players to cut out the risky offloads and take the tackle when required, Falcons boss Tait said he will not stop asking his players to move the ball around.

Refusing to shy away from the style which his coaching team have spent 12 weeks drilling into the players, Tait insisted that changing tack now would render the whole pre-season a wasted exercise.

Newcastle lost out 35-18 at Sale on Friday, matching their hosts' two tries - but crucially conceding far too many kickable penalties. Pinpoint Sale fly-half Nick Macleod slotted six penalties to add to his two conversions for a 22-point haul, and those three-pointers proved just as decisive as Newcastle's inability to retain possession.

Tait is in no hurry to switch emphasis, though, expecting his Falcons to fare far better against Wasps at Kingston Park on Friday night (kick-off 8pm).

He said: "As Paul Moriarty has already said to the lads, we will live by it and die by our ambition to keep the ball alive and offload out of contact. We have worked so hard on our gameplan over the summer, and we are confident we can make it work and make a success of it in the Premiership. "I am not going to tell the players to stop offloading just because it did not go well enough on one occasion.

"That would defeat the whole purpose of everything we have done so far - and we are really excited about what we can achieve with this style - provided we get the balance right. …

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