Sunday 28 September 2014 – 2.00pm
Adams Park, High Wycombe
Aviva Premiership #4
Twenty defeats in a row is a nice round number and a psychological barrier, we can only hope that this is where it stops. The next two games are Exeter at home and London Welsh away, the first one is winnable and the second is an absolute must-win. Lose them both, and it may be time for more dramatic changes than just a new gameplan.
I didn’t even get to listen to the commentary of the game at Wasps today. Sat in the car waiting for the ferry from Mull back to the mainland, I heard on a crackly Radio 5 Live that we were 17-11 down but “not playing like a team that has lost nineteen games in a row”, or words to that effect. Good stuff, and something to build on in the second half.
Finally getting to tonight’s hotel and getting the Wifi working (in the Highlands, you often get strong mobile signal but literally no mobile internet), it was disappointing to see on Twitter that Wasps had pulled away and won 35-18. Not even a losing bonus point, which we probably should have been targeting at least today.
There have been conflicting reports on how we played, some fans saying that there were further encouraging signs attack-wise, others saying we have developed into a one-trick team, crashing all the time and then going sideways, giving opponents little to think about. Juan Pablo Socino was described by one fan as clearly a centre playing at fly-half. Maybe that is an experiment worth persevering with, maybe not, I haven’t seen the game so don’t know.
Ruki Tipuna apparently had a good game, and I certainly wouldn’t mind him getting a run in the team on his performances so far. The loosehead situation is turning into a real worry, if Alex Rogers and Mark Irving are good enough then make them proper Falcons players, if not then get someone in who is or leave out Gonzalo Tiesi (Jamie Helleur is playing well in the reserves by all accounts) in favour of Eric Fry.
Things could be worse, London Welsh have conceded more than forty points in every game so far and over fifty in two of those, while we are conceding around thirty-odd on average I’d guess. If both teams continue as they are, we shouldn’t be relegated, but relying on another team being even worse than us again is not good enough.
The table makes bad reading – four games in and we are eleventh, already six points behind Sale in tenth. A win against Exeter is vital, victory over London Welsh absolutely non-negotiable you might think. I’m still backing Dean Richards, and hopefully we won’t get to a stage where you have to think things just aren’t working. The next two weeks will go a long way towards any judgement.
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