Match reaction: Plymouth Albion 10-25 Newcastle Felons


Saturday 13 April 2013 – 3.00pm
The Brickfields, Plymouth
RFU Championship #21

The Falcons are one game away from winning every regular season match in the Championship and hitting 100 points.

Plymouth are the tenth team to be doubled by us in the league this season and only Bristol at KP on Saturday stand in the way of a perfect 22 out of 22.

It was a wild day on the south coast of Devon with almost constant, if not especially heavy, rain and a swirling wind that made lineout throwing very tricky. If more than a couple were straight all day I’d be surprised.

There was a pleasant lack of time wasted by dodgy scrums and for the most part both teams tried to play an entertaining game on a pitch that had visible puddles in several places.

The late withdrawal of Jimmy Gopperth from the team and Waisea Luveniyali playing the full 80 minutes suggests Luvey is very much third choice for the number ten shirt, as we might expect.

Nevertheless, I didn’t think Wes had a terrible game yesterday, bar a couple of wildly-directed kicks at goal.

I also think Warren Fury is continuing to improve after an indifferent start to his time with the Falcons, and showed some good speed on a pitch that was always going to be difficult for scrum-halves.

Although we were in control generally for most of the game, Plymouth showed some spirit, particularly at the end of the first half when they scored their try.

Our first try was quite fortunate, Ollie Stedman looking like he lost the ball when going to ground, but the second by Jamie Helleur was a great example of why it is a good idea to put pressure on when kicking long.

This proved to be a useful tactic on a day when the wind in the air and water underfoot made it tricky for defences, but fortunately for those watching both teams used it sparingly.

So it’s now 28 wins out of 28 competitive games, a nice round 35 will see us into the Premiership with the British & Irish Cup in hand too.

There’s absolutely no reason we can’t do it.

The home fans are some of the more passionate and loud we’ve come across in this division I think, way up high in the covered terrace where we still got wet.

Those I spoke to in the bar were very friendly too and there was a canny little post-match disco in one of the marquees, that unfortunately me and the ladies only discovered ten minutes before our taxi came.

So the Magical Mystery Tour of 2012-13 has had its final new stop and we just have three away days left. Bedford is somewhere I’ll happily go to twice more if need be, and hopefully Nottingham would have nicer weather than last time.

I’m going to miss Championship grounds if we are promoted, but I miss Bath and Gloucester too. High Wycombe, not so much.

This blog is brought to you by the lovely Baba curry house in Plymouth. It was quite something, both nights.

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


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