Falcons counting the cost of defeat

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby, Steve Bates, was left to assess a bruised and battered squad after Friday’s 26-13 EDF Energy Cup defeat at home to London Wasps.

England centre Jamie Noon was stretchered off after just eight minutes, having clashed heads with scrum half Mark Robinson in a midfield tackle.

Noon was taken to hospital for precautionary scans which revealed no major damage, with Bates stating: “He is back in the changing room now walking around, and he seems fine.

“I think in a sense he is a little embarrassed about having to go off on a stretcher the way he did, but having reported a bit of tingling in one of his arms obviously the medics had to take all the necessary precautions.

“I wouldn’t have thought the injury will affect his international situation, obviously the medical staff will monitor him closely but it doesn’t look like there is anything to worry about.”

With All Black prop Carl Hayman, replacement flanker Ross Beattie and blindside Adam Balding all leaving the field prematurely with injury, Bates lamented: “It was just one of those nights.

“Balders left the play in the first half with a calf injury, Ross Beattie suffered a concussion and had to come off then Carl Hayman got smashed by the ball in trying to charge down a kick.

“Carl’s knee is on ice at the moment, the doctors will monitor him over the weekend but the initial thought seems to be that it looks like a hyper-extension.

Carl himself seems to think it’s fine, but then he is the most resilient person I’ve ever met so he was always going to say that. I’m sure he’ll be back on his surfboard in no time.”

Turning to the game itself, Bates said: “Wasps are a quality team winning European and domestic trophies every season, and that showed tonight.

“When you look down their team sheet it’s not hard to see why, and taking off Tom Rees to bring on Serge Betsen brought that home.

“They are strong in key areas, the centres and the back row in particular, and with the way the game is going these days those are the parts of the game where matches are won and lost.”

Looking to his own team, he added: “I thought our set piece went well, but we lacked real quality in the backs with Noony going off so early.

“We never really looked comfortable on the ball, and credit to Wasps for being clinical and getting the bonus point.”


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