Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons All Ready for High-Pressure Top-of-Table Clash; Flood's On-Form Newcastle Visit THETRAILFINDERs

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons All Ready for High-Pressure Top-of-Table Clash; Flood's On-Form Newcastle Visit THETRAILFINDERs

Article excerpt

TOBY Flood believes Newcastle Falcons' ability to negotiate the high-pressure moments will stand them in good stead for Saturday's televised top-of-the-table clash at Ealing.

The Falcons are six points clear of the second-placed Trailfinders after six rounds of Greene King IPA Championship action.

"Whichever way you look at it, this game has a huge significance on what is to come for the rest of the season," said the fly-half.

"If we win this weekend then Ealing have got to win something like three more games than us, not accounting for bonus points.

"That means firstly that we've got to slip up a couple of times, and have those nasty moments in changing rooms and Monday reviews, and then that Ealing would have to keep winning. They've already lost at Cornish Pirates and drawn at home to Coventry, fixtures that we've managed to win, and if we win on Saturday we're in a really strong position going into the new year. Ealing have spent money on their squad to try and gain promotion, they're capable of doing that and they've been close for the last couple of years.

"We understand the quality they've got but we feel like we're in a good position, and the excitement levels are Toby Flood high among the lads. They'll come firing out of the blocks because if they can get into us early on they'll want to feed off that momentum, and we're ready for that. It will be close to a Premiership-standard game, and that's what you want as a player."

Searching for further gains despite his side being on a 12-game winning run, Flood said: "There's definitely room for improvement because we haven't always maintained our level during those games, but I think that will come when we get into the pressure matches like Saturday down at Ealing.

"Guys really need to stand up on days like this, and on the occasions where we've had pressure situations like Bedford away, Cornish Pirates away and London Scottish away, we've always been able to come through. …

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