Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tait's Dancing with Delight; Cup Brings Good Times Back to Falcons, Says Coach

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tait's Dancing with Delight; Cup Brings Good Times Back to Falcons, Says Coach

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

HEAD coach Alan Tait believes the feel-good factor has returned to Kingston Park following Newcastle Falcons' LV= Cup win over Exeter Chiefs.

South African winger Gcobani Bobo led the celebrations in the changing room with a Zulu war dance after Sunday's 17-3 victory which saw his side through to the semi-finals, leaving them just two games away from major silverware and a coveted Heineken Cup spot.

Now in the last four of the Anglo-Welsh competition and with a host of their star names committed to new long-term deals, even the imminent prospect of their Aviva Premiership survival battle cannot dampen the new-found optimism at the Kingston Park club.

A third trip of the season to Harlequins' Twickenham Stoop ground on Friday, March 11, was the reward for their win over the Chiefs.

Tait (right) said: "It has done the world of good for our confidence and we are in a Cup semi-final.

"As a group of players these guys have now achieved something by winning their pool.

"Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, nobody can take that away from them.

"Yes, there will be guys moving on and new ones coming in, but this squad now has something good to go at with the prospect of a cup semi-final. We have a lot of work ahead of us in the Aviva Premiership, but now we also have something else to go along with that."

With a Harlequins now the only obstacle between Newcastle and a place in the LV= Cup final, Tait added: "We have to travel down there for the third time this season, but you do not experience many semi-finals in your career so you have to make the most of every one.

"It is good for the club and for the players, though, and instead of being under pressure every week to take points in the league we can now go down there as massive under-dogs and look to cause an upset. …

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