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Newcastle Falcons

“It was like going to a funeral for six hours”-Steve Diamond on the bus journey following Bristol Bears defeat

Newcastle Falcons consultant Director of Rugby Steve Diamond has said the bus journey back following their 85-14 humiliation against Bristol was like ‘a funeral for six hours’

The Falcons have had a torrid season so far, however Saturday was the worst day so far. The loss at Ashton Gate was the second heaviest defeat in the club’s history, falling just short of their 83-10 loss to Leicester Tigers back in 2005.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Diamond said: “It wasn’t deathly silence [on the bus] but it wasn’t far off. It was like going to a funeral for six hours.”

He added: “I’m a big believer in not being reactionary, so we weren’t going down the aisle in the bus every 20 minutes giving them a talking to.”

Newcastle now turn their attention to a clash with fellow Northerners Sale Sharks, in the now named ‘Steve Diamond derby’. The Sharks haven’t won at Kingston Park since May 2016, which could give Newcastle fans some glimmer of hope this weekend as they search for their first win of the season.

The ‘Steve Diamond derby’

Steve Diamond as Sale Sharks Director of Rugby-Credit: IMAGO

Steve Diamond as Sale Sharks Director of Rugby-Credit: IMAGO

Diamond spent the bulk of his playing career in the North West, racking up over 350 appearances for the club. He later went onto join the coaching ranks in 2001, and returned to the hot seat for an eight year stint between 2012 and 2020.

“I’ve coached Saracens against Sale. I’ve coached Worcester against Sale, I have come across Sale many times. There is a lot of good memories and a lot of friends who worked there and work there still. After the game we will shake hands and people will move on, like they always do.”

Whilst a lot of the media circus will focus on his return, Diamond will be looking for his side to make a response; but he also hinted it’s a chance for some players to stake a claim for their place in his plans.

“Let’s see if we get the reaction,” he said. “If we run Sale close or can scrape a win, or if we lose and play well; it’s another stepping stone for next season.

He added: “There will be some harder-core players arriving and some of the players who have not performed for a year or two here will be departing. It’s a vital process we have to go through, however brutal it is.”

This echoes his post-game comments, where he told TNT Sport the loss had helped him ‘make some decisions’.

“A few decisions on three or four players that will culminate in us being a better side moving forward next year,” he said.

Diamond added: “The only positive is the slow process I’ve embarked on to change the club, it’s a step in the right direction because it’s made some decisions for me.”