West wary of the threat struggling Newcastle will pose to Saints
Dorian West does not want Saints to let Newcastle’s long winless run seep into their mindset on Sunday.
Instead he is urging his team to think about what they must do to improve, following last weekend’s 20-16 defeat at Wasps.
Champions Saints travel to Kingston Park as huge favourites, with Falcons failing to win a game in the Aviva Premiership since last October.
That period encompasses 18 league matches, but forwards coach West is reading little into it and knows his players can’t afford to either.
“We just focus on what’s happening to ourselves at the minute,” he said.
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“We lost a game last week and we didn’t actually play too badly. We created a lot of opportunities and we made a quality side like Wasps struggle on occasions.
“We’ve looked at a couple of bits in our game that we need to improve on and we know we’re going to have to give it everything we’ve got to go up to Newcastle and win.”
Saints were pushed close by the Falcons in February, surviving a second-half scare to claim a 22-16 win at Kingston Park.
And with the Newcastle attack already looking more potent this season, West has warned of the task that lies in wait.
“They’ve recruited a number of players over the past couple of years and they don’t always come into the squad and be where they need to be straight away,” he said.
“They’ve had time to plan and make sure their team are playing the style of rugby they need to and scored five tries already.
“They struggled to score points last year and that’s changed, which is what comes with the coaches having more time with the players.
“We’re expecting them to be a tough team to compete with this week.”