Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Have to Get Stuck in; New Cup Competition Appeals to Newcastle Star

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Have to Get Stuck in; New Cup Competition Appeals to Newcastle Star

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith ? (0191) 201-6432 ? mark.smith@ncjmedia.co.uk

ALEX Tait believes Newcastle Falcons should see the British and Irish Cup as an opportunity and not a hindrance.

The Falcons play host to last year's beaten finalists Cross Keys on Saturday, with the Kingston Park club taking part in the fledgling competition for the first time.

"The British and Irish Cup is a great chance to freshen up the team, and lads like myself can maybe get a run depending on what side the coaches select," said Tait, who made his first start of the season in Saturday's 53-13 win at Moseley. "After coming back from injury it is a chance to get some minutes on the field and find some match form. I am really looking forward to getting stuck in if I get the nod.

"I have to admit the British and Irish Cup is not a competition that I have particularly followed previously or know too much about, and it will be interesting from that perspective to just get stuck in and see how everyone treats it."

With the Falcons still searching for their first 15-a-side silverware since the 2004 Powergen Cup triumph, Tait added: "It is still a trophy which is there to be won, and Dean Richards' mentality is that he wants to win every single game.

"If we are in a competition then we are looking to win it, and I think that is an absolutely great philosophy to have."

Cross Keys provide unfamiliar opposition for the Falcons, but are not without their merits after shining in the competition last season and following it up with a strong start to the Welsh Premiership, where they currently occupy fourth position after beating Cardiff last weekend.

Tait said: "This week has been about doing what we do, and doing it better. Hopefully it will be Cross Keys who have the problems on Saturday, but we will be giving them full respect and doing our analysis to see what threats they have got. …

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