Friday 19 October 2012 – 7.45pm
Dubarry Park (Buccaneers RFC), Athlone, Ireland
British & Irish Cup Pool 4 #2
Keep ’em coming has to be the message from Falcons fans to our team after an eighth win out of eight last night, and a seventh bonus point.
This six-try victory over Connacht’s reserves in Athlone may not have seen us hit the half-century, as in each of the previous three games, and represent our worst return of points all season bar Pirates away, but the Falcons went over to Ireland yesterday morning to get five points and they are coming back this morning with them.
That obviously puts us in a good position to look to qualify from the group ahead of the double-header against Newport in December and the return meetings with the Eagles and Cross Keys after Christmas.
Cross Keys host Newport at Pandy Park this afternoon, incidentally.
Last night sounds like it was another good night for our forwards in a season when they have outshined the backs, with a penalty try and scores from Oliver Tomaszczyk and yet another by Ally Hogg. Although I doubt a game in this (with all due respect and I bet the travelling fans had a great time) rugby outpost was what the likes of Hogg and Jimmy Gopperth had in mind when they joined us!
They must have known relegation would always be a possibility though.
It’s good that we can still go to these places while in the Championship, and I’m looking forward to Cross Keys in January, but I really see no reason why we can’t have a good old English cup, even for the Championship and lower division teams as happened after the Anglo-Welsh Cup was introduced for the Premiership.
Fair enough, we got a trip to Ireland and having been at the Munster friendly back in 2004 I know it’s a great place, but why not somewhere like Bridgwater, or Otley, or we might even have got a local derby with Tynedale or Blaydon.
Gosforth v Newcastle, what a game that would be! Although it would probably be moved to KP if we were drawn away.
Of all of the things that have changed in rugby since professionalism, I think the loss of such a democratic, inclusive English cup competition like that we won four times is one I dislike the most.
But it’s probably not going to change.
So we now turn back to the Championship for a few weeks, firstly against Rotherham at home on Friday when those who prefer their ale real to brown (managed to get a dog in trendy Shoreditch last night – but then it is trendy), will get their wish of a ‘decent’ pint.
You would imagine we’ll see the majority of last night’s line-up on display on Friday and hopefully we’ll rack up another few tries ahead of the crunch game at Bedford.
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