Pilgrim hails Falcons' resolve
August 6, 2011
Newcastle scrum-half Chris Pilgrim hailed the Falcons' strength of character in their J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series victory over Saracens.
In a repeat of the 2010 final, Newcastle faced reigning champions Sarries and despite getting off to a flying start with tries from Redford Pennycook and Alex Tait, the balance of the game soon swung when Saracens crossed through James Short, Ben Ransom and Marcus Watson to lead 21-14. But the Falcons, coached by Mark Laycock, hit back with late tries from player-of-the-round Luke Fielden, Tait and Pilgrim which gave them a 31-21 victory and some morale-boosting silverware.
And Pilgrim believes that bodes well for the Falcons - who finished 11th in the Premiership last season - for the coming season. He said: "Last year we got to the final and got beat by the same team so it is nice for guys like myself who played in that game to come here.
"As a team we are trying to play a different brand of rugby this year: we are looking for offloads and keeping the ball alive. We took what we did in training and put it in there. One of the big things was working hard for each other. Although we didn't have the gas, we thought we had the ticker on every other team and could outwork everybody till the end.
"That's the way it goes in Sevens you have to take the ups and downs. We have got a lot of ticker and it showed when we came back at the end. What Alan [Tait] can take out of it is that he has a group of lads who work hard for each other and there's a great team spirit at the club. We want to keep going that forward."
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