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Preview: Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks

Preview: Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks

Andy Saull is well aware of the threat Sale Sharks pose but after Newcastle Falcons nearly doubled their try tally for the Aviva Premiership season last time out, the flanker is hoping 2014 starts in a similar vein.

Before the Falcons hosted London Wasps last Friday, the Aviva Premiership new-boys were stuck on just three tries from their opening ten games.

And while they slipped to a fifth-straight defeat against the side from the capital, tries from Noah Cato and Will Welch in the 17-12 loss was reason to be cheerful.

Sale Sharks will arrive at Kingston Park having won three of their last four in the Aviva Premiership but Saull insists no one at the Falcons will be running scared.

“Sale played very well against Leicester at the weekend and will be a tough game,” he said.

“Everyone is obviously talking about the form of Danny Cipriani and then you’ve got people like Dwayne Peel and Mark Cueto who is one of the top try scorers in the league.

“They are the players that can hurt you and we will have to stop them. As a team they are playing particularly well, but we are back at home, with the wind and rain up there, hopefully we can take advantage.

“Hopefully we can pick up from the second half against Wasps, and kick start the New Year with a win.”

Sale’s last four Aviva Premiership games have all been won by the home side, whilst the Sharks’ only away victory this season was a 22-16 success at Gloucester Rugby in round one.

They have also won once in their last 20 visits to the north east and veteran winger Mark Cueto is urging his teammates to not get carried away despite their good start to the season.

"As regards the club, we're in a decent position but one loss and we could drop two places in the league as the middle pack is so tightly congested," Cueto said.

"I remember when I signed my last contract four years ago we were fifth in the league and had started well in the Heineken Cup.

"By the time February came around we were ninth and out of Europe so you can never rest on your laurels – you have to keep looking to improve.

"It's positive and hopefully we can now kick on in the second half of the season."

(Kingston Park, 7.45pm)
Referee: Andrew Small (96th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Kevin Stewart & Robin Goodliffe. TMO: Trevor Fisher.

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