Saturday 7 January 2012 – 3.00pm
Kingston Park, Newcastle
Aviva Premiership #13
Where to start after yesterday’s debacle at Kingston Park?
Perhaps by saying that if Semore Kurdi was not on the phone to John Wells or Brian Smith last night I would be disappointed.
Even overlooking the fact that from three winnable games over Christmas and New Year we have gained just one point, the manner of the defeats has been appalling.
There is no imagination, no thought, no intelligence.
It now looks certain that we will finish 12th in the Premiership, barring a miracle. We would then have the ethical crisis of whether to support Bedford and Cornish Pirates in the Championship play-offs.
I’ll offer my opinions on that another day, but certainly nobody at KP should be relying on one of those clubs saving us.
But back to yesterday.
I think what summed yesterday up for me was when Exeter scored their penalty at the end of the first half.
Jimmy Gopperth hit a long kick-off and Exeter booted the ball into touch under little pressure, ending the half.
It was 0-10 at this point. Did nobody think “We should try to get some points before half-time”?
As for the lineout, what in the world has happened to that? What happened between the Sale and Northampton games to make it so bad?
It’s not only the absence of James Hudson, as this started in the first half last week.
To lose three lineouts in the opposition 22 in the space of two minutes when we throw them all is simply criminal.
Again, did nobody think to go short? No point going long, we wouldn’t have put anybody there to catch the ball.
As for the crowd, the numbers are worrying, as is the general mood.
Obviously we cheered when Tim Swinson scored our try, but not as much as might have been expected. I doubt anybody thought we would score again.
It was a depressing afternoon. With 20 minutes to go I looked at the clock and seriously thought “Why should I stay until the end?”
In about 350 Falcons games I’ve been to, this was only the second time I’ve ever felt like that. The other, incidentally, was a cup defeat to Wasps at KP in February 2010.
We now have four cup games that would allow a new manager to sort out the team before Bath in February.
I wonder whether Kurdi will do what an increasing number of fans seem to believe must be done? Will Alan Tait jump before he is pushed? He has admitted he is thinking about it.
Newcastle try: Swinson. Conversion: Gopperth. Penalty: Gopperth.
Exeter try: Thomas. Conversion: Mieres. Penalties: Mieres 2. Drop-goal: Mieres.
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