Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

History Can Repeat Itself; Vickers Hopes for Another Basement Battle Success

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

History Can Repeat Itself; Vickers Hopes for Another Basement Battle Success

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

NEWCASTLE Falcons hooker Rob Vickers has called on his side to repeat their heroics of two years ago, as they prepare for Sunday's basement battle at Leeds Carnegie.

The Headingley clash sees the Aviva Premiership's two bottom sides lock horns as Leeds look to overturn the threepoint gap between themselves and the Falcons, but Vickers believes the history books provide all the advice his side needs.

Almost two years ago to the week, the Falcons travelled to Bristol for a match similarly billed as a relegation decider, with the West Country side rooted to the foot of the table just one place below a struggling Newcastle outfit.

A 35-3 rout was the outcome as a rampant Falcons team showed their class, with Vickers among the star performers on a memorable night.

"The belief that we went down there with was the key," said the 29-year-old, who played 65 minutes at the Memorial Stadium with his side running in four unanswered tries.

"It was a big Friday night game as I recall, and the conditions were conducive to playing some good open rugby. We threw the ball around, really believed we could beat them, and we just took them on by backing our own ability.

"As it turned out that result was the catalyst to a massive revival in our season, with five wins on the bounce, and that's exactly what we need to do this time round.

"We have to bring a positive mind-set to the table, and whilst we all understand the seriousness of the situation we're in, we just have to play well and win a game of rugby."

With Friday's 23-13 defeat to Exeter still somewhat of an open wound, the England Saxons hooker said: "Everyone was disappointed, and I would even say deflated, by the result, because we'd put ourselves in a position to win it.

"Ultimately our own mistakes cost us, and it was an important time to get a win. …

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