Simon Hammersley admits expectations at Kingston Park are constantly increasing, but urged Newcastle Falcons not to risk complacency ahead of their Aviva Premiership Rugby clash with Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
Dean Richards’ Falcons had claimed their first away win in two years when they downed Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm in Round 4, but they faltered at Sixways, letting Worcester Warriors sneak away for an 11-9 victory – their first of the season.
Bristol arrive at Kinston Park also looking for their first win since returning to Aviva Premiership Rugby, but Hammersley says that as the Falcons continue to progress, anything other than a win becomes much less satisfying.
“We were pretty down after the Worcester game to begin with, we thought with the way that it unfolded we had the ability to win the game, we just let ourselves down and made individual errors,” the 23-year-old explained.
“To go away and get a losing bonus point is a good in a way, but we definitely could have got a win so we are disappointed.
“Expectations have changed, Worcester are a very strong side and to go away anywhere and get a bonus point is a reasonable result.
“The fact we beat Gloucester could have, and maybe should have, beaten Worcester shows we are getting a bit better away from home and that only helps as at home too.
“Back in front of the home ground, we have been focussing on our basics and just really playing some attacking rugby and hoping that if it all comes together on game-day we should be able to get a result.
“In the Premiership anyone can beat anyone, so we know if Bristol come out with their ‘A’ game then they are going to be a very tough side to play against.”
Hammersley has been enjoying a fine run of form and admitted that rubbing shoulders in the back-three with Fijian Niki Goneva, New Zealander Sinoti Sinoti and Olympic silver medallist Marcus Watson is helping to expand his rugby horizons.
And the Durham University graduate hopes his stellar form and diverse influences could one day lead to England honours.
“I have been pleased with the start to the season, we are getting more consistency into our game, which is maybe what I have needed for the past couple of seasons,” he said.
“It is just a matter of getting the ball in hand as much as possible and with people like Sinoti, Niki, (Alex) Taity and Marcus Watson around you in the back-three – it is a pretty nice position to be getting the ball.
“Everyone who is an English rugby player has an ambition to try and push on to that highest level.
“I think it is a matter of if I play well week in, week out I will keep knocking on the door.
“It is just about getting better as a player, a bit more experience and hopefully at some point my chance will come.
“Niki and Sinoti come from slightly different rugby backgrounds, so I have good talks with them to try and understand how they see the game.”