ALEX TAIT is hoping Newcastle Falcons can reproduce their scintillating cup form when they return to Aviva Premiership action at Wasps tomorrow afternoon.

Having moved to the top of their European Challenge Cup pool with victories over Dragons and Bordeaux-Begles last month, Falcons stepped things up another notch when they recorded back-to-back Anglo-Welsh Cup wins over Wasps and Cardiff Blues.

Dean Richards’ side edged out Wasps 53-41 in a 14-try thriller, before tightening up in defence as they thrashed Cardiff Blues 57-0 last weekend.

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Those victories came with a much-changed side, and Richards has made a number of alterations for the return to league duty, but winning can quickly become a habit, and Tait is hoping for more success in tomorrow’s tea-time encounter at the Ricoh Arena.

“It has been a good couple of weeks for the club in the Anglo-Welsh Cup with two bonus-point wins, and the lads are very pleased with their efforts for the most part,” said the Wolsingham-raised full-back.

“Some of our attacking play down at Wasps was very good, but the most important milestone was getting the nil against Cardiff Blues because we knew we had some defensive improvements to make from the previous week.

“A lot of guys came in who maybe hadn’t had too much game time, and they really took their opportunity. They showed what they are about. It’s good for the competition within our squad, and we’re hoping now to carry it into the league.”

Falcons’ away form has been one of the key factors behind their strong start to the campaign, with the club having won four of their five games on the road. Even the game they lost featured a four-try bonus point at reigning champions Exeter Chiefs.

They currently sit five points ahead of Wasps in the table, but know all about their opponents’ chief attacking weapon. Jimmy Gopperth spent four successful seasons at Kingston Park, and with the New Zealander boasting a deadly record from the kicking tee, Tait accepts discipline will be vital as Falcons look to record what would be another notable away success.

“We’re not reading too much into Wasps’ early form because we know they’ve got threats, and they’ve started to improve in the Premiership,” he said. “They have top-class talent who can score from anywhere, so we won’t be taking them lightly and it demands a massive defensive effort on our part if we want to come out with anything.

“Wasps have got some big guys in that pack who will carry hard, get them some good go-forward and look to release their threats in the backs.

“We’ve also got to be disciplined when the likes of Jimmy Gopperth are able to punish us through penalties, and we know how good a kicker he is from his time up here. We have to be nailed on with everything to get the points, but we’re confident we can do it and we’ve been going well.

“We can’t give Wasps any easy territory or needless three-point attempts because those are the things which will hurt us, and there are a lot of things in terms of our own attack which we need to make sure we execute consistently.”