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Tait and Newcastle desperate to turn performances into points

Newcastle Falcons ran defending champions Northampton Saints extremely close last time out but full-back Alex Tait insists it is time he and his teammates started turning performances into points.

The full-back scored one of the Falcons’ four tries at Franklin’s Gardens as Dean Richards’ troops eventually fell to a 39-31 defeat, with Saints extending their lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby standings.

That game came hot on the heels of a 25-23 defeat to Saracens before Christmas while they also ran Harlequins close earlier in December before succumbing to a 15-7 loss.

And these narrow defeats have to stop if Falcons are to start looking up the table instead of over their shoulder at basement boys, and their next opponents, London Welsh.

“To go to the champions, and play like we did at their place was pleasing,” said Tait.

“We gave them a bit of a scare, certainly compared to what they might have expected.

“We were sitting in the changing room afterwards, and of course there was a bit of disappointment as there always is when you lose.

“But we were pleased with the way we performed, if we can play like that every week then we will pick up points in plenty of games between now and the end of the season.

“Last year was all about survival but this season we want to be looking up the table and improving in terms of results.

“Especially in this last block of games over Christmas we have played against some of the big sides and have got close to getting results.

“We have to be happy with that, especially considering last season we only won three games in the whole campaign.

“The difference probably is that last year we got what we deserved whereas this year there have been a few games where we look back and think that we should have done.”

The Falcons have turned heads this season with their more expansive game plan, scoring 26 tries after 12 games this season.

That number is already three more than they managed in the entirety of last season and the influence of new attack coach Dave Walder is a key factor in that improvement according to full-back Tait.

“Certainly we feel we have improved and from what people have seen and been saying, they have certainly been impressed with how we are playing,” added the 26-year-old.

“We are challenging teams with ball in hand, carrying with intent and running the ball and when we get that right we can be a threat to any team in the league.

“Dave Walder has made a big difference in that regard. We started from scratch with a new shape and Dave was the architect behind that.

“We are all growing into it and it seems to be working , people know where they need to be, starting to pick the right option.”

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