Match reaction: Harlequins 15-7 Newcastle Falcons

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Saturday 20 December 2014 – 3.00pm

Twickenham Stoop, London

Aviva Premiership #10

 

Aargh! Now that really was one that got away. The Falcons dominated the first half and but for handling errors, a lapse in judgement by Calum Green to give away a penalty, and dogged Harlequina defence we’d have had a bonus point secured before the break.

 

As it was, we had a slim 3-7 lead at half-time through a controversial try by Alex Tuilagi, and then in the second forty our discipline went to pot, allowing Tim Sweil to score four penalties and deny us a losing bonus point. Very frustrating, as players and manager readily admitted afterwards.

 

These things happen when you are an up and coming team, you play well and it just doesn’t go for you. No need to panic, we created lots of opportunities and Quins wouldn’t have scored a try had we played until Christmas.

 

I used to believe that you win first and the performances will come, now I’m of the opposite mindset – attack well and defend well, and the wins will come. Yesterday we did both, but lacked the final ball. A bit better execution and we’d have got four points rather than none.

 

So we can definitely be very positive, we are getting closer to winning at places like Harlequins and Bath. I’m not going to say we were unlucky, because the game is about scoring points and if you don’t take chances then you don’t deserve to win, and the execution meeds working on.

 

But we are not far away and I think we will beat a top team at least once this season.

 

We have still, in my opinion, been outclassed for eighty minutes by only one team this season and that was Northampton in the LV= Cup. Who’d have expected that a year ago or even in the summer?

 

Some outstanding performances yesterday, particularly Sinoti and Tuilagi who were a menace on the wings, Adam Powell was involved a lot in the centre, and all of the front row put in good shifts driving forwards. Noah Cato was also dangerous in attack after replacing Simon Hammersley.

 

So lots to be happy about.

 

Just to finish on a negative note, unfortunately I believe I saw a Falcons player dive while chasing a kick yesterday, quite theatrically and the referee rightly didn’t give a penalty. It’s only the second time I’ve ever seen it happen, and the first time for a couple of years, but please, let’s not be doing things like that. Hopefully Dean Richards has the same attitude and took the relevant player to task.

 

Actually, I’ll finish positively – Merry Christmas everyone, and see you on the 27th!

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

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