Sunday 23 September 2012 – 3.00pm
Mennaye Field, Penzance
RFU Championship #4
For those of us unable to get to yesterday’s game town on the south-western tip of England, there were more options than usual to follow the game – more than we will often find in the Championship anyway.
Not only was there the usual Twitter feeds (Champers did a ‘sparkling’ job with that!), but also sufficient technics in place for BBC Radio Newcastle to offer commentary, and the option to stream from the Pirates’ website for the not-bad price of £15.
As might be expected, the Falcons showed the game live at KP for those fans who couldn’t travel.
As for me, I was stuck with Twitter in the second half, having spent the first half in the pub watching football with a mate from up north. 3-13 was a decent score to find at the break, in what was expected to be (and no doubt was) a very difficult game, made worse by rain of biblical proportions. “Brutal” is how Jordi Pasqualin described the weather post-match.
A 3-25 win is nothing to be sniffed at. Dean Richards said in the week that he’d be happy with four points (aren’t we always?) and I heard that he had targeted nine points from this and the Bristol game, which we have achieved.
We have now won away to two of the other top-four favourites, with Bedford coming up in just under six weeks’ time. If we are still unbeaten after that then things will look very good indeed as far as the regular season is concerned.
I think this is now our best league run since the previous seven-wins-out-of-eight under Steve Bates in early 2009, and going back to last season we have now won our last FIVE away league games, I would bet the last time we did that was in the title-winning 1997/98 season. Of course, the last four games have been in the Championship, but the games still have to be won.
I and others have said several times that not every game will be a 50-pointer, and yesterday will have been very difficult, but to come away with a 3-25 victory against a good side in conditions that will have made playing rugby very difficult is a good sign.
Turning to individuals, I don’t know how he played generally but after a good performance against Doncaster it was pleasing to see Tom Catterick score yesterday, I think he might be one of the surprises this season. Along with Joel Hodgson, dropping down a division should give us the chance to give TC some decent games and see whether he is likely to become a regular.
By all accounts everyone of a northern persuasion had a great time in Cornwall, even young Smithy after a throwaway comment about the Mennaye Field being “ramshackle” caused a bit of controversy on the internet. I really, really hope we get another visit to Penzance later in the season so myself and those who could not go this time don’t miss out on what is one of the best reasons to be in the Championship.
For now though, don’t forget that there are ticket offers on for the Leeds game on Friday – two-for-one for most people or three-for-one extra tickets for season ticket holders.
After Leeds’ 50-31 victory over Bristol at Headingley yesterday, the nearest thing we have to a local derby should be entertaining. Again I can’t go but them’s the breaks.
(Follow The South Stand Choir on Twitter: @SouthStandChoir)