Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Manning: We Can Match Champions; Falcons Ace Up for Tigers Test

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Manning: We Can Match Champions; Falcons Ace Up for Tigers Test

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE full-back Jeremy Manning insists his team fear nobody as they prepare to visit Aviva Premiership champions Leicester on Saturday.

The Kiwi was at the heart of the Falcons' 12-6 triumph over form side Gloucester on Sunday, and sees no reason why the club's new-found momentum cannot continue in the East Midlands this weekend.

The Falcons have waited almost 13 years for a Welford Road victory, following their heady title-winning heights.

Current head coach Alan Tait, in fact, was in the starting line-up the last time they won in the Tigers' lair - a dogged 25-19 victory in December 1997.

The closest the Falcons have come since then was a 16-all draw five years ago, when referee Tony Spreadbury's failure to consult the television match official denied the visitors a well-deserved win.

Home fly-half Andy Goode's penalty attempt on that night flew well wide of the left-hand post, but Spreadbury enraged the Falcons by wrongly awarding a crucial three points without consulting the replay.

Defeat after defeat has followed since then on all four subsequent visits, but Manning said: "We are going out every weekend to put a good performance in.

"It worked against Gloucester on Sunday, and now we will look to take that form down to Leicester this weekend.

"It is great we can now grind out these wins, especially when you consider how well Gloucester had been doing in the league prior to coming up here."

Leicester showed their title credentials in dogging out a scrappy home victory over Harlequins last Friday, with Manning a firm admirer of their winning credentials.

The full-back, who has scored two tries in his 10 outings for the Falcons since joining from Irish province Munster in the summer, added: "We always look ahead at our opponents, and see what they are about before we come up against them.

"Leicester are a fantastic side, as you would expect from the champions.

"Even with guys away on international duty they still play well as a team but, as we have proved in this Premiership, everybody has a chance on their day. …

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