Sunday 2 September 2012 – 3.00pm
Memorial Stadium, Bristol
RFU Championship #1
Well, if that was the hardest game we will play in the regular season this year a top four place should be nailed on.
I’m sure there will be twists as we go but a bonus point win away to Bristol was the best possible start to life in the Championship.
After two successive four-try victories here I may even have to revise my long-held negative view of Bristol.
Although since the 15-year-old lovers who look like twins have turned up for the bus back to the station having been on the one here, don’t bet on it.
To be fair they did point me in the right direction when we arrived so I should be nice.
Anyway, back to the game. It was a decent performance by the Falcons and even though Bristol had good spells I never thought we were in danger of losing.
It is probably good that we got a hard game out of the way to guard against complacency, though I’m sure Dean Richards won’t allow any of that to creep in.
It was interesting that when Tane Tu’ipulotu butchered a huge overlap in the first half with a pass way over Andrew Higgins’ head, James Fitzpatrick quickly removed his bib.
Fitzy didn’t come on but maybe it was a warning from Richards to the whole team to keep their heads.
Tulip had a good game apart from that I thought. Obviously he scored the first try but he was also a good weapon in attack, making plenty of metres and passing fluidly.
Luke Fielden also looked sharp on his competitive comeback and though Higgins didn’t get the ball that often, when he did I was impressed.
Ally Hogg was my pick of the forwards and Sean Tomes will have done his chances of a longer contract no harm with some good work.
What may be of concern is that we didn’t always kick for position brilliantly and a few loose passes. Though that might not matter much this season, 2012/13 is hopefully an audition for better things should we get back to the Premiership at the first attempt.
But we have five points, you can’t ask for more than that. That should put down a marker saying we intend to get out of this division as quickly and as well as we can.
Not sure if it’s being in the Championship or the standards our new management set, but I never thought I’d be nervous that we might only get four points from a league game.
A good start to the season.
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