Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Battle at the Bottom 'Just like Any Other Match', Insists Delany

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Battle at the Bottom 'Just like Any Other Match', Insists Delany

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner @StuRayner

THE league table might say otherwise, but Newcastle Falcons will be trying to treat their Premiership match against London Irish just like any other, according to Mike Delany.

The teams meet at Kingston Park on Sunday in a game which will go a long way to deciding which of them plays in next season's Championship, and which in the Premiership.

Irish are bottom of the table, but have closed the gap on Newcastle to four points - the number handed out for a win. After Sunday, the sides play twice more, once at Falcons' home, and once away.

Advance ticket sales point to the potential for the season's biggest crowd, but former All Black Delany is anxious not to over-hype the game, or for Newcastle to stray from their recent game plan.

"We have just got to keep doing what we are doing," he insisted. "The confidence is there, it is just a matter of us working through our processes, getting that right and knowing the results will come on the back of it.

"I don't want to make too big a deal out of this game, because to do so might see us go into our shells. We don't want to tighten up, we just need to understand that the boys have done all the work during the week and that we can approach the game with confidence and accuracy in what we are doing.

"People on the outside might be saying it's a decider and all the rest of it, but we just have to put that to one side. Those external factors won't be in our mind - it is just who wants it the most on the day and who delivers their game plan which will decide it.

"Both teams, I would imagine, will be pretty keen to get out of their own half. Other than that we will have to wait and see, but hopefully it is a good game."

The Falcons have lost their last six matches, but the flyhalf is adamant they are going about things the right way, and that he has no regrets about swapping last season's European Cup and Top 14 runners-up Clermont for an English relegation battle. …

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