Match reaction: Newcastle Falcons 9-9 Harlequins

Friday 2 March 2012, 7.45pm

Kingston Park, Newcastle

Aviva Premiership #17

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Gutted is the only way to describe how I and no doubt many other Falcons fans felt last night as the flags went up for Nick Evans’ last-kick equalising penalty.

Our team had taken on the league leaders with all the passion and commitment we ask of them and went into the final seconds of a brutal match with a 9-6 lead.

How different to those three Premiership horror shows at New Year. Though we have discovered a new, mounting problem with yellow cards, at least now the players look like they want to beat relegation.

We aren’t going down without a fight!

It was heartening to see a big crowd at KP like that, 7,000 people declining the easy option of watching on TV and instead goimg out and shouting themselves hoarse for the cause. Hopefully the performance will encourage most to come back for the Sale game in four weeks.

It seems some Harlequins fans were less than impressed by our approach last night though. I fail to see how Taiasina Tu’ifua allegedly taking out the odd dummy runner is “blatant thuggery” and means they “don’t want the likes of the Falcons in the Premiership”.

We were playing a top-class team while fighting for our lives, what did they expect? Gary Gold’s job is to win rugby matches, nothing else, and we near as damn beat the best team in England this season. That it didn’t please our opponents is their problem.

We did it without our best scrum-half, winger, tighthead and lock, no less.

I for one (though others have expressed similar sentiments) am proud of our team for their efforts last night.

Well, most of it. Why has the stupid kick-and-don’t-chase returned? I know it is better for the opposition to have the ball in their half than for us to have it in ours, but to win territory you have to press the other team back.

There is no point kicking the ball away only for the other team to have it five or ten metres in front of where you started. Or indeed to kick into the 22 without trying to take advantage.

Anyway, we have three weeks to try to sort our problems out until we go to Sixways for what will be a real must-win game.

If Wasps get nothing against Irish today then a win in Worcester will take us level or even off bottom. I thought about heading up to Adams Park today and lending the Exiles some Geordie support, but one trip to that godforsaken industrial estate is enough for one season thank you!

Might see if I can find some internet commentary.

Nothing we can do about that though. So all that I have left to say is well done to the boys for last night, even if the result wasn’t exactly what we wanted or needed.

Keep playing like that and we’ll keep cheering you, whatever happens in May.

(Follow The South Stand Choir on Twitter: @SouthStandChoir)

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