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Bates hails Gopperth display

Fly-half impresses Falcons boss

By Rachel Griffiths   Last updated: 1st April 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Bates hails Gopperth display

Gopperth: Impressive display

We were really competitive, kept the ball well, the pack played well and Jimmy's kicking was outstanding and he was really influential.

Steve Bates
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Newcastle director of rugby Steve Bates praised the efforts of Jimmy Gopperth after the fly-half helped the Falcons to a 25-13 victory over Gloucester at Kingston Park.

Newcastle, who had previously won just one home game in the Guinness Premiership this season, finally got their act together to ease the team's relegation fears.

Gopperth kicked 20 points for the hosts while Tom Biggs powered over for a first-half try, leaving Bates satisfied with the performance.

Result

"The result was the most important thing," said Bates.

"We were really competitive, kept the ball well, the pack played well and Jimmy's kicking was outstanding and he was really influential - it was not just his goal-kicking but also his tactical kicking and, in fact, he could have kicked it more for me."

Bates revealed his side's humiliating 58-15 defeat at Saracens last Sunday had made them hungry for a win.

"The lads were really hurting after last weekend and they bounced back well. They were hurt by Sunday's result and they were determined tonight to show people and put that right," he said.

"The four points is a huge boost and we will go to Quins at the weekend with huge ambition. The lads bounced back well from last weekend and the win gives us some breathing space and we can build on that."

The Cherry and Whites were competitive in the Kingston Park clash, with Nicky Robinson kicking two penalties and Tim Taylor powering over for a try.

But head coach Bryan Redpath believes his men failed to take advantage of crucial opportunities, and says they must now win all their remaining fixtures to stay in contention for Heineken Cup qualification.

Errors

"After losing the LV=Cup final to Northampton, I told the players every game would be like another cup final," he said.

"If we want to make the top six we now have to win all our games. The players let themselves down today - Newcastle controlled their possession and took their chances and we made far too many errors, we don't need to look any further than ourselves for the reasons we lost.

"We coughed the ball up and Newcastle didn't. At 10-6 it was anyone's game, but we let them get away from us and it was catch-up after that."

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