Courtney Lawes back to earth with a bump for Phil Godman

 

It is to be hoped Phil Godman enjoyed the Doctor Who special on Saturday evening because earlier in the day the Newcastle fly-half’s adventures in space and time had an unhappy ending thanks to the tackling of Courtney Lawes.

The England second row said he had found it “quite tough” getting mentally adjusted to the return from autumn Tests to club action in the Premiership, but not half as tough as Godman’s task in being harangued by Lawes during a fairly straightforward 18-0 home win for Northampton.

It kept the Saints second in the league table, even though the incessant nature of the season meant they were missing four of their international players on Test duty and another five injured or suspended. Two penalties by Steve Myler in the second quarter, enhanced by tries from James Wilson and Luther Burrell midway through the second half and one conversion by Myler, easily outdid the big fat duck egg for Newcastle, who have easily the worst Premiership statistics for tries and points scored: just three and 69 respectively in eight matches.

“It’s quite tough to come from the tough international games straight back into the Premiership, hard to get your head round it,” said Lawes. “It’s different; there’s so much pressure on you [with England], then you’re relieved of that pressure and it’s hard to keep yourself mentally focused enough to put in a good performance. I worked really hard to get myself motivated this week, I thought I played solid with some good carries, didn’t make any mistakes, pressured the 10 and made some good hits.”

Lawes also said he had been preoccupied with his new role calling line-outs for England, which all suggests he can only increase his already impressive influence for club and country as the season goes on.

Meanwhile Dean Richards, the Berkshire referee, and his assistants, were angrily criticised by Dean Richards, the Newcastle director of rugby, for “inconsistencies” in the scrum, the breakdown, recovering to be onside in defence and more besides. The overall accusation was that Richards the ref favoured the home team in all departments and Richards the coach – and former England and Lions  No 8 – was heard questioning whether all the top referees were injured and who is coaching them these days.

As it happened, England’s top two whistlers were on international duty: Wayne Barnes refereeing France v South Africa and J P Doyle running touch for Italy v Argentina.

Despite Northampton’s depleted state Newcastle barely laid a glove on them, for all their forwards’ tidy pick-and-go play and the early darts on the wing of Noah Cato.

Among Northampton’s absentees, Tom Wood and Dylan Hartley of England should be fit to play at Worcester this weekend if required, and certainly for the back-to-back matches against Leinster in December that will be crucial to the outcome of Heineken Cup Pool One.

The England and Lions prop Alex Corbisiero is a different kettle of embrocation. Northampton’s head coach, Jim Mallinder, raised hopes when he said reports of six months out were wide of the mark, before suggesting “three to four” was the accurate figure. That still rules Corbisiero out of the first two Six Nations Championship matches, and possibly all of them.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
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

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee