Nat Saumi: We're not going to make up the numbers
PLYMOUTH Albion head coach Nat Saumi insists his team are not going to Kingston Park just to make up the numbers.
Tonight Albion face the daunting task of taking on unbeaten league leaders Newcastle Falcons on their own turf.
Nobody in the league has returned with so much as a bonus point from the north east this season.
In fact, only one team – Leeds – has managed a try against Newcastle at Kingston Park and no opposition has scored more than 10 points.
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Doncaster lost 37-3, Leeds 53-10, Cross Keyes 52-5, Rotherham 33-0 and Nottingham 29-9.
With home statistics like that, not too many people will be predicting an Albion win tonight.
But Saumi, whose side have won just once in their last seven league and cup games, says his team are more than happy to be the underdogs.
"It is always good to go into a game as underdogs," said Saumi, who has made seven changes for the game.
"Newcastle might think it is going to be another easy game for them.
"It is a game that will certainly test our character.
"The important thing for us is to come back with some pride and lay down a marker for the second round of the season."
He added: "But we are not going up there to make the numbers up.
"People have to go there and perform and lay that marker down.
"It is about performance first, then about trying to win the game. It can be done, but it is all about character.
"The players just have to perform."
Saumi is more than aware how tough it is to break down the Falcons on their own patch.
"You have to remember they are a Premiership side with experienced players and with a coach like Dean Richards," said Saumi.
"Their defence nullifies opponents, that's why it is so hard to score against them at home.
"Our guys have to work hard and show character and patience to try to break them down.
"But Newcastle do play smart rugby. They give away penalties rather than tries."
Saumi was far from happy with last week's home performance against Bristol, where they lost 21-8.
"We don't like losing at home," said Saumi.
"Some instructions were not followed, but it's water under the bridge now.
"We move on and we are looking for a good performance this week."