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Steve Boden | Loads of positives, loads to work on – Newcastle reflection.  

On Tuesday the Knights travelled to Kingston Park for a training day with last season’s Greene King IPA Championship winners, Newcastle Falcons.

It was the first opportunity the squad have had to put their training into practice against a real life opposition.

With the Falcons currently unbeaten, and second only to European Champions Exeter Chiefs, in the Premiership table, the test could not have been sterner especially after just three weeks of full team training.

Reflecting on the day, Head Coach Steve Boden says he was pleased with the ambition his fledgling side showed at Kingston Park but admits it highlighted plenty to work on. “We had a really decent day with Newcastle, we get on well with their coaching team and appreciate the opportunity for a hit out – overall I am happy with what I saw.

“We ran through different game scenarios with their squad preparing to play Castres on Friday night. The main purpose was to play under pressure against an opposition that don’t know what you’re doing and I think we both got plenty from the day.

“We created a few opportunities and looked exciting, we probably got a little over excited at times but I prefer to see that over a team not showing anything exciting going forward.

“Our game management needs work and will be something that will come into sharp focus in the next few weeks of training and I will be looking to our more experienced players to drive that.

“One really positive was our set piece, the scrums looked solid against a very experience Falcons pack and we looked organized with our driving lineout.”

The Knights return to Castle Park for one more week of training before a bit of time off over Christmas and, considering the challenges of 2020, Bodes says he progress so far is pleasing. “I do feel that, all things considered, we are in a good place but we certainly have plenty of work to do before playing our first game, whenever that is.

“The plan is for Newcastle to come to Castle Park in January for another training day.  Fingers crossed we’ll keep our positive momentum and can assess then what progress has been made.”

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