Match reaction: Newport RFC 10-26 Newcastle Falcons

Saturday 8 December 2012 – 2.30pm

Rodney Parade, Newport

British & Irish Cup Pool 4 #3

“Technology has brought us closer to the people far away from us, but distanced us from those close to us.” I can’t remember where I heard that quote but I think there is some truth in it.

Indeed, sitting on a train right now I can see two young people who got on together but are each looking silently at their own laptop screen.

Social media would appear to be the major driver of this trend. Still, it has its uses. For example, myself and wor lass have spent this weekend visiting her family in deepest rural Cumbria but even though phone signals and internet are as scarce there as news about semi-pro rugby, I could still see the Falcons’ score.

Just. Hiking through the hills on Saturday afternoon I remembered about the game not long after 4pm and after a few minutes of trying, finally got a faint signal on me phone. A few minutes later Twitter updated and Rob Vickers had just confirmed the full-time result.

Another bonus point win, very good. Not so good was Smithy’s opinion that this was our worst performance of the season.

Reading through the reports online now, tearing through the countryside on the way back to London, the Falcons appear to have struggled to play the referee after half-time and Dean Richards has quite rightly been critical of that.

It is something we have long struggled with compared to the bigger teams in the Premiership but it’s essential in a sport where interpretation is so important in refereeing.

Still, apparently playing badly but getting a four-try victory and not being in real danger means the winning habit is continuing so there are obvious positives.

It’s good to see James Hudson back on the pitch too after a while out with injury. I really like Huddo, very good player and someone who has that look that commands respect.

Joel Hodgson also seems to have had a good game. This weekend’s return game with Newport may be the time to give Jimmy Gopperth a rest and give Joel the main playmaking and kicking responsibilities.

Off the pitch, Mr Vickers’ tweets showed photos of sunshine, which I didn’t know was legal in Newport but would have been good for the crowd. I got a text today from someone who was at the game and said it was more like football than rugby – not sure what that means but I’ll be interested to find out.

I haven’t looked at the B&I Cup tables yet but we must be seven points clear of Newport now, and with two of our three remaining group games being at home you’d think that should mean a quarter-final place is there for the taking.

I don’t know if the draw would be seeded but I would expect so since rugby seems to love a nice seeding, so a home QF may be a more than realistic target too.

Onwards and upwards!

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

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