Tom Catterick: Newcastle deserve credit for European shows

Falcons coach faith lifts Catterick

Fly-half Tom Catterick says Newcastle Falcons' European Rugby Challenge Cup players have shown their quality by winning their first three Pool games.

French side Stade Francais were beaten 30-23 as Falcons also picked up a try bonus point, to follow their success at Newport and at home against Bucharest.

"Every time we've come out in this competition, we've gone on to win," Catterick told BBC Look North.

"Three wins from three, we can't complain."

Falcons travel to the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris for Thursday's return fixture.

Victory against the Paris giants, who have twice been runners-up in the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup, was made all the more impressive by the team selection.

Head coach Gonzalo Quesada named internationals such as South Africa stand-off Morne Steyn, New Zealand rugby league world cup winner Krisnan Inu and Wallabies winger Digby Ioane but it was not enough to avoid defeat at Kingston Park.

"It wasn't a case of 'Oh no', it was a chance to really get stuck into them," Catterick said.

European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool Three
TeamPlayedWinsDrawsLossesTry bonusLosing bonusDifferencePoints
Stade Francais310201-195

"It's always good to play against world-class players and to know they've brought that team and for us to turn them over with a young squad that hasn't played together for a long time is really impressive.

"There're always things to work on but you can't beat it."

Catterick was deployed at fly-half in Friday's win, having spent much of his Falcons career at full-back or across the three-quarter line.

He kicked 10 points and had a major role in the try by Simon Hammersley with a slippery break and pass in a strong individual display.

"There are a lot of things to work on, as I'm a bit rusty, but I really enjoyed," Catterick added.

"I could definitely get better at it, I have to be more dominant at times."

Top Stories