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Preview: Newcastle Falcons v Wasps

Preview: Newcastle Falcons v Wasps

They may be facing the form team in Aviva Premiership Rugby this weekend but according to Newcastle full-back Marcus Watson, the Falcons are full of confidence ahead of their clash with Wasps.

Newcastle Falcons have slipped to four straight defeats since their 26-25 victory over Northampton Saints at Kingston Park in round 12 of Aviva Premiership Rugby.

The Falcons' 15-14 defeat at the hands of Worcester Warriors in their most recent home game ended a four-game winning run at Kingston Park.

But with bottom club London Irish beating Gloucester Rugby last weekend, the pressure is now on the Falcons to start winning if they are to retain their Premiership status.

Back in February they narrowly lost 9-8 to Wasps at the Ricoh Arena and having been the better side for much of the game, Watson remains optimistic ahead of this weekend.

“They have been very impressive of late, climbing the table. They have great pace, great power from the forwards,” said Watson.

“They are a formidable team but there have been times when they have struggled and we need to try and take advantage.

“It’s been a bit frustrating. There have been three games lately where we have lost by a point or two.

“Had we won those the season it would have been different but we have now got to look forward to Saturday.

“There are always positives as well as negatives to take from a defeat but the good thing about the Premiership is there is normally only six or seven days until the next game, so we don’t have too much time to dwell.

“We can always look forward. They haven’t all ended in defeats; we had tight games against Northampton, Leicester and Bath where we got victories. There are a few areas we can improve upon here and there, but we are close.”

Wasps have lost only one of their last nine encounters in all tournaments, 13-10 at Gloucester in their most recent away game in round 15 of Aviva Premiership Rugby.

They have also not lost successive away games in the tournament since the start of this season.

Wasps are unbeaten in their last five encounters with Falcons since Newcastle's 14-10 victory at Adams Park in May 2012.

But lock James Cannon has warned his high-flying team-mates against complacency ahead of their visit to the North East.

“Newcastle can certainly be a very tough place to go and play and they actually are playing some very good rugby at the minute," said Cannon.

“It’s going to be a real dogfight and we’ll have to be on the top of our game.

“When we played them at the Ricoh, we only won the game by one point, and it would be fair to say that on that particular day they were the better side at times and we rode our luck a bit.

“So we know what they can deliver and that they have a very solid set-piece and forward pack with very threatening runners as well.

“On the surface up there it’s going to be an electric game, but there are no easy ones and in this league you have to be at your best no matter who you are playing.”

Kingston Park, 3pm

Referee: JP Doyle (110th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff & Roy Maybank. TMO: David Rose.

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