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Simon Hammersley: Ambition inspiring Newcastle Falcons’ fine form

Newcastle Falcons full-back Simon Hammersley believes a more ambitious approach has been the key to their excellent recent home form.

The Falcons have won four of their last five matches in all competitions, with all four victories coming at Kingston Park in front of a passionate home crowd.

And Hammersley revealed the fine run of results has since created a brilliant atmosphere at the club.

He said: “Everyone is enjoying themselves; the run we have been on at home has really given us some momentum going into these next couple of games.

“I think we are playing with a bit more ambition than we have been, the forwards are putting us on the front foot and the backs are exploiting the gaps when they get the time and space.

“With the backs it’s about having that composure and knowing when to seize our opportunities.

“The home crowd and the good surface have mixed with some great training weeks; it has all just come together nicely.”

However, it has been a very different story away from Kingston Park.

An improved performance in the 9-8 defeat to Wasps did little to mask the fact that Newcastle have not won an Aviva Premiership Rugby away game all season.

The club face a trip to Kingsholm on Saturday and with Gloucester two places and nine points clear of Newcastle, Hammersley knows they must reproduce their home performances on the road in order to climb the table.

“That’s one thing that really frustrates us,” he said. “We have gone on this run at home and we have always been pretty good at picking up points at home.

“Away from home our form has slipped; it hasn’t been great for the past season or two so we need to carry the momentum we have at home on the road with us.

“There is no reason why we can’t do that; we’ve had a good week of training and we will go into the Gloucester game full of confidence.”

This confidence must be fuelled further by the influential performances of Andy Goode.

The veteran fly-half has led by example and kicked some vital points in recent weeks since coming out of retirement to strengthen an injury-hit Falcons squad.

“He has got such a huge amount of experience and he provides that calming influence when we need it,” added Hammersley.

“He knows how the game is unfolding 50 or 60 minutes in because of his experience.

“He has been instrumental in the structure of the team and the goal kicking along with the kicking out of hand really helps as well.

“It’s great that he can pass on the amount of knowledge he has to the younger players. Obviously as a full-back it is slightly different but he’s someone you can really learn from.

“Craig Willis is really benefitting from having that experience to learn from and he’ll be able to use it to his own advantage.”
 

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