Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Will Stick to the Game-Plan in Quest for Euro Spot

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Will Stick to the Game-Plan in Quest for Euro Spot

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner Sports Writer @StuRayner

JOEL Hodgson says Newcastle Falcons won't be sucked into playing helter-skelter rugby during tomorrow's Aviva Premiership climax in Bristol with a European Champions Cup play-off place up for grabs.

To make the play-offs Newcastle need to finish seventh in the league and hope Gloucester do not win the European Challenge Cup final - the Falcons' chances of ending up seventh hinging on home defeats for Northampton and Gloucester on a day of seemingly endless permutations.

Keen for his team to follow their own pattern rather than playing without a framework, Hodgson said: "There's a lot riding on it for us and there's the chance of achieving something which hasn't been done in 13 years in terms of qualifying for the Champions Cup.

"We can't wait for it and I see no reason why we can't finish seventh.

"We just have to put in a performance, which is all we can do, and we'll do everything in our power to take care of the things we can control.

"Bristol know their fate in terms of finishing bottom but they have been dangerous and competitive all season and with it being their last game in the Premiership and in front of their home crowd they may look to throw the ball around a bit more.

"We just have to stay disciplined because we've put a game plan in place and we think it will work if we stick to it.

"There's no reason why it shouldn't if we execute our roles and it's about having the discipline to stay within that shape.

"We have to be 100% accurate in everything we do, we have to do what we have talked about during the week and not just pay lip service to it. I've no doubt we'll do it this weekend and the boys are absolutely buzzing for this game."

Despite being aware bonus points may come into the equation, the flyhalf insists the thoughts of his team are focused only on winning the game when it gets underway tomorrow at 4.00.

Hodgson added: "I'm sure if it comes to the crunch towards the end of the game we'll have all the information we need about what we have to do to finish seventh, with people on the sidelines being across all the other scores. …

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