Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Gale of Two Halves Would Put Some Wind in Our Sails; Saull: Falcons Spirits Are High despite Defeats

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Gale of Two Halves Would Put Some Wind in Our Sails; Saull: Falcons Spirits Are High despite Defeats

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith Sports Writer mark.smith04@trinitymirror.com

ANDY Saull thinks he might have found a novel way for Newcastle Falcons to use the weather to their advantage, if only he can get it past the referee.

The former Saracens flanker is part of a Newcastle squad who have battled gamely into fierce winds during the Premiership season, but have failed to fill their boots when the gale has been at their backs.

That was again the case at Bath on Saturday as they reached half-time at 3-3, but lost the second half 21-3 despite having the advantage of the elements.

Searching for a way to break out of the pattern, Saull said: "Jokingly, I asked the lads can we not play into the wind for both halves!

"We always seem to perform better when the wind is against us.

"I don't know if that is just a correlation of the fact we happen to have played into the wind during the first half of games or not, and there was no lack of effort or heart down at Bath. Other than a few individual errors it was 80 minutes of faultless defence.

"Perhaps that volume of defending takes the energy out of you. I don't know, but we will watch the video and put our fingers on where it went wrong."

Having no let-up in a schedule which sees them meeting all but one of the top five in successive weeks, the England Saxons open-side said: "Looking at the fixture list we are playing most of the better teams, but our spirits are still high.

"Our fans down at Bath were brilliant, we were geed up by the noise they were making and hopefully that can be the same down at Harlequins on Saturday.

"Much the same as we did at Bath, we will go down there really wanting to have a crack at them, and it is not as if we are not competing."

Currently second-bottom of the Premiership and with the buffer between themselves and Worcester now reduced to 10 points, he added: "I didn't feel Bath particularly outmatched us in any area, other than perhaps the scrums towards the end. …

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