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Nottingham feet on the ground ahead of Falcons trip

NIC Rouse insists Nottingham will not have their heads stuck in seventh heaven as the Green and Whites prepare to meet Newcastle for the first time in sixteen years.

Rouse actionThe East Midlands club travels to Kingston Park on Friday (7.45pm kick-off) for the top of the table clash full of confidence having thrashed Bristol 63-7 five days earlier.

Rouse (pictured) said the thrill of the remarkable victory will not distract Nottingham from the biggest test of their season to date.

"We have to keep our feet on the ground," Rouse said.

"What we've done is gone back and analysed that performance and got straight back to working hard.

"It's a difficult away trip next and we need to keep focused, keep playing the way we play and do what we've been doing.

"There is no getting ahead of yourselves in a league like this with opposition like the Falcons waiting for you at their place."

The lock said roaring to second place on the RFU Championship ladder has been six months in the making, starting with the first day of pre-season fitness training.

One win, no matter how big, after eight leagues is not being celebrated as a crowning achievement.

What it does do, however, is galvanise the outfit ahead of their meeting with the star-studded former Premiership side.

"We have nothing to fear," Rouse said.

"For months now we have been working hard to get to where we are and this is a tight unit that will stand up when the chips are down."

Nottingham last travelled to the North-East fortress in the 1996/97 - the year that the Falcons won promotion to the Premiership and Nottingham were relegated to level three of English rugby.

Sixteen years ago a second-half hat-trick from replacement scrum-half, Steve Bates, helped Newcastle to a 53-17 win at Kingston Park. Fellow scrum-half Gary Armstrong went one better in Nottingham's home game, running in four tries in a 74-29 win at Ireland Avenue, Beeston.



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