Saracens down the Falcons in London

Saracens down the Falcons in London

Newcastle Falcons head coach Alex Codling insisted he was proud of his side’s efforts despite suffering a 37-19 defeat away to Gallagher Premiership champions Saracens on Saturday.

Speaking after a full-blooded encounter at StoneX Stadium, Codling said: “For me today was a reflection of the group – of how together they are and how they work for each other.

“The frustration I have is that we defended like Trojans in the first half and took our chance through Adam Radwan on his birthday, but then gave away a try with the final play of the half to go behind.

“One error cost us the half-time lead, and to be fair to Saracens they’re ruthless.

“In the second half at 25-19 to them around the hour mark we were certainly in the game but gave away too many penalties to let them in, and they had the class to close out the result.”

Still searching for a first league win of the season but adamant that the spirit remains strong, he said: “This is an amazing group to work with, even though I realise some people on the outside might look at our record and scratch their heads a bit as to why I am saying that.

“Their resilience and spirit is unbelievable, and most of their defence today was heroic.

“Going away to the champions in front of a full house and pushing them all the way like we did – I thought it was a great effort and I’m incredibly proud of them.

“I believe we’re making progress and the wins aren’t far away. I can’t criticise this group because they gave absolutely everything today, and they’re a joy to work with.

“For us to stay in the fight when they’re rolling on international after international from the bench, despite the result I’m incredibly proud of our effort.

“Our set-piece was really strong against a good Sarries pack, and we’re getting better week on week. That was a really pleasing aspect, but of course it’s tough to keep losing.

“The togetherness in the group is amazing, and I thought Callum Chick led them exceptionally well.”

Turning attention to Friday’s visit of Harlequins to Kingston Park, Codling said: “The Quins game is massive for us, and the boys are desperate to win for our supporters.

“Our fans have stuck with us and it will be a good crowd on Friday for what should be an exciting game.

“Quins have got quality players and they play a good brand of rugby, so it will be a great occasion.

“We will go away and re-energise, spend time with our families over new year and then come back next week ready to rip in for a massive game on Friday night.”

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