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Furbank: Saints only looking forward after first Gallagher Premiership win

Northampton Saints fullback George Furbank admitted a winning result at a soaking-wet Kingston Park over Newcastle Falcons felt extra special on Sunday.

The 27-year-old had yet to feature for Saints in the Gallagher Premiership this campaign, as he missed the opening two rounds through injury.

But both Furbank and centre Fraser Dingwall returned to the line-up in Newcastle, and the duo made an impact as Northampton won their seventh consecutive game against the North East outfit.

Curtis Langdon grabbed what proved to be the decisive try in the second half as both sides battled the elements, with Fin Smith adding 11 points from the kicking tee, and Furbank was impressed with how his teammates coped with the wind and rain.

“These wins are almost more rewarding than others,” he said. “We saw the forecast and knew it was probably going to be a bit of a gritty game. 

“It’s incredibly tough when it’s like that to throw the ball around and play the way we want to play normally, but we adapted incredibly well.

“We spoke about doing the small things really well, and sticking in the fight, and I thought we did that for 80 minutes.”

George Furbank

The torrid conditions saw Saints and Falcons go in level at 6-6 at half-time, with neither side able to gain a foothold in the game.

Furbank explained just how hard it was to do the basics in such poor conditions, but tipped his cap to flanker Tom Pearson, whose magical break and offload for the onrushing Langdon to score made the difference for Northampton.

He said: “In that weather it is just so hard to catch and pass to be honest, and do any of the basic stuff which is why it turns into a kick battle. 

“We were a little bit disappointed with our discipline in the first half, as the penalty count was 10-3 which allowed them to have long periods of dominance. But we did pretty well to stay in that game, and keep them out when they had a few entries into our 22.

“We spoke at half-time and we knew if we cleaned that area of our game up, we could assert some dominance on them, and win the territory battle which ultimately wins these sort of games.

“There was going to be a magical moment in the game, and luckily Tom Pearson brought that with a bit of physicality and a great offload to Curtis, who was buzzing to get over the try line.

“There’s always a little bit of pressure to get that first win, and now we have got that under our belt, hopefully we can build on this and keep moving forward.”

Next up for Saints is top-of-the-table Bath Rugby, who come into next week’s game with two wins from their opening three games.

“Bath are a good side this year and they’re looking really promising,” added Furbank. “They had a narrow loss against Leicester, so they will definitely want to bounce back. 

“We have got two home games in a row now, and we always speak about how we want to make cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens a fortress again, like we did last season, and so we have got to put our foot down in that area.”

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