Noon primed for Bristol trip
February 16, 2007
Newcastle Falcons centre Jamie Noon has insisted club matters are paramount at Bristol on Sunday, despite a burning desire to force his way back in to the England team.
Noon lines up for the Falcons at the Memorial Stadium, saying in the lead-up to the game: "It's important for me to get back playing after the disappointment of not being involved with the full England team in the last two weeks, so I'm looking to put in some consistent performances for the Falcons and start again really.
"Newcastle is the only thing on my mind at the moment. I need to play well for the Falcons not because it's an avenue in to the England squad, but because Newcastle are tenth in the league and I want to help change that.
"My main concern, as it always is, is winning games. Whatever my part in that is I don't mind, if it's the nuts and bolts stuff, scoring tries or whatever."
Assessing the threat of the high-flying Bristol team, the hard-hitting midfield man said: "It will be a tough game. Bristol are going very well in the top reaches of the Premiership and are playing a type of rugby that really suits the players they have there at the moment.
"They have a big home crowd behind them and will come at us right from the start, so it's down to us to match them and hope that we can play on the back of it.
"Beating them at Kingston Park gives us the confidence to go down there and know we can get a result. We've shown that if we play the way we want then we can win, and it will be an interesting game with the different styles of the teams.
"That is not to say Bristol don't have quality outside of the pack. You don't get to where they are in the league without having good players throughout your side, and they can count on a lot of experience around the park. We just have to go in with the right mindset and do our jobs."
The Falcons come in to the game on the back of a heavy loss at Leicester Tigers, but Noon believes positives can still be taken from the Welford Road defeat.
"We've gone through the Leicester video, and three weeks without a club game is a long time to think about a defeat like that," he said.
"That game was the story of our season so far, to be honest. We did some good things and actually created a lot of scoring chances. Had we been more clinical we could have had a number of tries, and then on the back of some refereeing decisions we were down to 13 men and it was pretty much game over.
"To be involved in a hiding like that isn't a positive experience, but if you analyse the game properly and look at personal contributions from the players then there were actually a lot of good things going on which we can learn from."
With his Falcons team mates chomping at the bit after three weeks without a club game, Noon said: "This week has been a case of trying to get the boys to calm down a bit, because there are a lot of restless bodies having not played for three weeks.
"As rugby players this is what we do, what we train for, and especially with the Leicester game fresh in the mind it's only natural to want to put things right as soon as possible. We have the right people in place in the right positions to make that happen, so that's where the focus is going in to the weekend."
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