Match reaction: Newcastle Falcons 7-9 Brive


Thursday 9 January 2014 – 7.45pm

KingstonPark, Newcastle

Amlin Challenge Cup Pool 3 #5


The pub was a strange place. I’d thought it looked quite nice from the outside, but it turned out the clientele left a little to be desired (no, not me!). The missus found it nicer than she expected though. Weird.


We were the only ones watching the game, and anyone who had come in and watched for a couple of minutes would see why. I don’t think the Falcons played that badly, at least in the first half, but it was very predictable and a pretty turgid ‘style’. I’m not sure those in attendance will have felt they had been ‘entertained’.


On TV, KP looked as empty as I’ve ever seen for a first team game. There didn’t look to be more than 400 in the West Stand, more in the South. Fewer than 2,000 bodies, I’m sure. They’ll be lucky to get more than 1,000 against Bucharest next week.


The match has been chewed over a lot on the internet already so I don’t really have much new to say. There does seem to be a general downer around the club at the moment, at least from the fans. In 2007/08 we played Brive at home on a Thursday night in November, the game was live on TV, and the official crowd was 5,140. Something has gone drastically wrong since then.


The North Stand was closed, and will be next week, because the club expects a low crowd. The South bar was apparently closed – I’m not sure that has ever happened for a competitive game. The team are losing (four successive home defeats now, including three in as many weeks) and there is nothing to suggest that a real improvement can be expected when we return to the Premiership in February.


It’s a few days more than two years since Alan Tait’s last match in charge against Exeter, since then we’ve had some excitement when Gary Gold was in charge and we had an enjoyable season in the Championship, but now it seems we are back to where we started from, with the cushion of Worcester’s poor season keeping us in a decent position. For now.


I don’t know what the answer is, if there is one, but things aren’t going well and I’m not sure that there aren’t internal problems spilling over onto the pitch as happened during Tait’s tenure. Hopefully I’m wrong and the coaches have something up their sleeve that they have been inexplicably holding back for the first four-plus months of the season.


Next Thursday might be a good time to pull it out if they do have something for us.


That’s pretty much all I can think of to write at the moment.



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



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