Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Win Will Consign Fears to History; Falcons Star Wants Positive Result to Ensure Safety

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Win Will Consign Fears to History; Falcons Star Wants Positive Result to Ensure Safety

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

ANDREW van der Heijden insists his Newcastle Falcons side will be going all-out to cement their own destiny this weekend, as the race for Aviva Premiership survival comes to a close.

The Falcons travel to Bath knowing that a win would keep them safe from the drop, with the losing bonus point picked up in last weekend's home defeat to the same opposition leaving Newcastle one point ahead of fellow strugglers Leeds.

A vastly superior points difference effectively extends that lead further, and Leeds travel to Heineken Cup finalists Northampton on Saturday knowing that a minimum of two points is required to give them even a fighting chance of survival.

Determined not to rely on the Saints doing his side a favour, however, van der Heijden said: "We are not saying that we are safe, because we know that anything can happen. We have to go down to Bath and get the win to keep us up, and if we can do that then it removes any doubt whatsoever." Having lost 14-11 to the West Country side in last Saturday's Kingston Park encounter, there were unusual scenes as the Falcons kicked the ball dead on the final whistle rather than going all-out for the win.

"We were obviously trying to win the game, but getting any points was a target in the end with the way the league table is looking," said van der Heijden, with head coach Alan Tait echoing the Kiwi's sentiments.

"It's a tough one to explain to people, the fact that we took the final whistle at three points down, but the lads did the right thing in the end," said the Scot.

"We had slow ball inside our own 22 and, in the past, we would have tried to play our way out of trouble and coughed up possession.

"If we had done that and Bath had denied us the losing bonus point, then everybody would have been fuming, but I was happy with the maturity that the lads showed in just running down the final few seconds and getting the ball off the pitch. …

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