Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hogg Relishes Trip to Quins; European Wins Have Given Falcons Confidence: Ally

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hogg Relishes Trip to Quins; European Wins Have Given Falcons Confidence: Ally

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

ALLY Hogg believes two wins from two in Europe will send his Newcastle Falcons team down to Harlequins on Sunday with renewed confidence.

The Scot was a late addition to the Newcastle side at Italian champions Petrarca Padova on Saturday, replacing Mark Wilson on the morning of the game after the No 8 was struck down with illness.

Playing his part in a 34-3 triumph, he said: "We have not won many away from home, so overall we have to be pleased.

"We went there to a job and six tries to none was a good return as well as some of the rugby we produced at times."

Hogg added: "Like with anything there are some aspects we can improve on, and we went a bit loose nearer the end because of the way they were defending.

"We could see the space and we were going for it, but Petrarca scrambled well.

"Against better sides we would not have got away with some of the things we did, but we played good rugby and gained the result."

Elaborating on the many positives, he added: "Our line-out was 100%, we won a lot of turnovers around the park and our line-speed was very good in defence.

"We spent a fair bit of time on our own try-line when they had the ball, but we kept them out and we should be happy with that aspect.

"The main threat we were wary of was their driving maul, but we dealt with it well."

The result leaves Newcastle still second in the Pool Two standings, with French big-spenders Toulon on top after winning at fellow Top 14 side Lyon.

Toulon's failure to secure a four-try bonus point leaves them tied on nine points with the Falcons as the two teams prepare for back-to-back meetings in December. Before they can even think about that, though, the Falcons have the more pressing matter of Aviva Premiership survival to contend with, starting with a daunting trip to unbeaten league leaders Harlequins on Sunday. …

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