Rugby Union: Newcastle aware of size of task

THE NEWCASTLE director of rugby, Rob Andrew, has admitted that it will be a difficult proposition for his team to achieve a big margin of victory against Saracens today in order to qualify for Europe.

Andrew's team must recover from their Tetley's Bitter Cup final defeat by Wasps and beat Saracens by 30 points to claim a lucrative European Cup place. "Just beating Saracens at Watford will be an achievement," Andrew said. "We will simply aim for a win and see if we are ever in a position to give it a blast."

Newcastle suffered three setbacks last Saturday. They lost the final, had their try-scorer Va'aiga Tuigamala injured and then learned that Bath, their rivals for the European slot, had scored 76 points against London Scottish. That scoreline by Bath made all the difference.

"We thought that Bath would win by up to 40 points. But we never thought they would pile up so many and make our very difficult task near impossible. But mentally the boys have picked themselves up since having League and Cup ambitions damaged," said Andrew.

Tuigamala is unlikely to participate. "I popped my shoulder and I've got to be very doubtful," said Tuigamala.

Saracens, after losing out to Newcastle last season in the push for the title, owe Newcastle no favours, but do not intend to lie down. Their director of rugby, Mark Evans, said: "The integrity of the League demands that we play full out."

Rotherham will be attempting to join the elite this weekend as they play Bedford in the first leg of their Allied Dunbar Premiership play-off at Clifton Lane, with the return at Goldington Road on Sunday.

Rotherham will be aiming to succeed where they failed last year against London Irish and this time insist that they are better prepared. "Last year we didn't truly believe we could win, but this time we do," said Rotherham's captain Mike Schmid. "A year ago we finished fourth in the Second Division and were playing the 11th-placed side from Division One, now it's second against 13th."

Schmid might also add that Rotherham finished level on points with the Second Division champions, Bristol, after winning their last 17 matches and that Bedford were so worried about the play-off that they rested their entire first team for their final Premiership One fixture against Richmond last Sunday. "It was against my principles but what can you do when there is so much at stake?" asked Rudi Straeuli, Bedford's director of rugby. "It's the difference between the elite and semi-professional status."

News
newsVideo targets undecided voters
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Life and Style
Cooked up: reducing dietary animal fat might not be as healthy as government advice has led millions of people to believe
healthA look at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
News
Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, dropped out of Stanford University just before graduation to develop his app
techAnd yes, it is quite a lot
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Retail Business Architect

Flexible for the right candidate: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: I have a fa...

Calypso Developer

£500 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Calypso Developer Calypso, J2SE, XML, ...

IT Developer/Analyst

£35000 - £36000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A market leading financia...

Pricing Manager, Finance, Edinburgh, £250-350p/d

£250 - £350 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is cur...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis