Gary Gold savours first Newcastle win in LV Cup

South Africa’s Gary Gold saw his first home match in charge of Newcastle Falcons end with a thumping 37-7 Anglo-Welsh LV Cup win over Sale Sharks on Sunday.

Former Springbok assistant coach Gold has been drafted in by the Falcons, along with ex-England defence chief Mike Ford, in a bid to preserve the north-east side’s status in the English Premiership.

Newcastle are currently nine points adrift at the bottom of the table and, with only one team relegated from the top flight at the end of the season, things are not looking good for the Kingston Park club.

While the Anglo-Welsh Cup may not be the most important tournament for Newcastle this term, they will be happy to take any sort of win.

“All success is important,” said Gold.

“That’s what this club deserves and that’s what the guys want to do and if the consequences of that are that you qualify and put the club in cup competitions then that’s fantastic, but the main object at the moment is to just keep on improving.

“The key word today was performance,” added Gold.

“Obviously we’re delighted with the win but the thing that was most pleasing was the performance.

“The only thing we can commit to do as coaches is to try and improve all aspects of our performances and our performance was pleasing, but we have a long way to go. We haven’t really achieved anything yet so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

“The areas that were pleasing was our performance at the breakdown, our general defence, the commitment of the guys in the tackle area and we carried the ball well.

“We had a fantastic work rate, but there are areas to work on in our set-piece, I still don’t think our set-piece is good enough and we have a lot of work to do.

Meanwhile, former rugby league star Joel Tomkins scored two tries on his first team debut as Saracens beat Worcester 41-14 in an Anglo-Welsh Cup clash.

“Joel is an intelligent rugby player, and the more he plays, and the more he gets on the field, the better he will become,” Saracens forwards coach Alex Sanderson said of Tomkins, previously with rugby league giants Wigan.

“His core skills are second to none, as you would expect from a rugby league player, and the way he took his chances in the final quarter of the game, when a debutant coming from league might be forgiven had he drifted out of the game, was impressive.

“We have big hopes for Joel in the future because he is a very talented lad.”

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