Will Witty believes Newcastle Falcons are now a better side than the one which lost by a single point at Wasps last season.
The Falcons travel to the Ricoh Arena for Sunday’s Aviva Premiership clash having pushed themselves into the top half of the table, winning three of their six league games and claiming a pair of losing bonus points.
Their last visit to Coventry produced a 9-8 reverse at a rainy Ricoh, Witty stating: “We lost by one point down there in a game we should have won. We had a few of those last year, and the difference this season is that we seem to be better in closing out some of those tight ones. We are learning how to win, and that could be the difference.
“We feel like we are in a good place as a squad. Confidence is high, we are ready to kick on for this next block of games and we are looking forward to a good test at the weekend.”
Witty scored one of his side’s eight tries in last Sunday’s 50-7 rout of French side Grenoble, Newcastle bouncing back from a heavy loss at Ospreys the week before.
The 21-year-old, who represented England in the Junior World Championship final last year, said: “Against Ospreys we weren’t there on the day, and we know that. We made too many mistakes, especially in defence, and we said we had to put it right against Grenoble. The boys did that, we reacted really well and put it together on the field.
“We look to learn each week, and you can’t take your foot off the gas for a second at this level because teams will punish you. That’s what Bristol did to us in the second half of our last Aviva Premiership game, and even though we still ended up winning we will definitely learn from that.”
Wasps sit second in the Premiership table with just one defeat from six – Witty well aware what sort of test awaits them.
“There is no hiding from the fact Wasps are a good side, but every team in this league is,” said the Yorkshireman.
“Especially away from home it will be tough, but if we turn up with the right mind-set and play in the right way we can definitely take the game to them and hopefully come away with a result.
“You have got to make sure you front up – especially against a side like Wasps who have got a big pack, lots of carriers, and we need to knock them back. If we do that it will upset them, put them on the back foot, and we should be able to capitalise from there.”