Newcastle Director of Rugby, Gary Gold has understandably been full of praise for his side following their 29-20 victory over Gloucester last weekend at Kingsholm. Gold praised his players for showing “amazing character” in the game which has seen them reignite their hopes to avoid relegation to the Championship.
The victory was Falcons first away win in the league since February 2011 and was certainly needed in their bid to avoid the drop. The victory came courtesy of tries from back rowers Ally Hogg and Mark Wilson with captain and fly half Jimmy Gopperth kicking the remaining 19 points.
The Falcons now have two games remaining, Saracens at home, which given the two sides form is seeming more winnable than would have been thought, and Wasps away in what is likely to be a relegation decider.
Gold described the Falcons first half performance as “we pretty much stuck to the plan perfectly, really”. Whilst admitting that the second half display was less impressive the first half display proved to be enough and they showed good character when they slipped behind in the second half to reclaim the lead and hold on for an impressive victory over the Heineken Cup chasing Cherry and Whites.
Gold was also keen to praise his players’ work rate. He described them as “a good bunch of players who are really committed to keeping Premiership rugby in the north-east”. This is a refreshing statement in a world where professional sportsmen often seem unconnected to the passions of their fans and regions.
With the passion and the resurgence in form the Falcons are showing in recent weeks it will not be a surprise if they do remain in the Premiership, which given the amount of times they have been written off at various points throughout the season would be an impressive achievement.
Gold has been in charge since January and has overseen an impressive resurgence. It was though only ever a temporary appointment and he will be replaced by Dean Richards from next season.