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Last result: Newcastle Falcons 52-24 Bordeaux-Begles


Champions cup rugby achievable?
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 18:26
I posted this earlier in the season, about round 3 or 4, about what your thoughts where on us finishing in the top 6 and qualifying for Champions cup. A lot of the thoughts initially where that we did not have enough depth, and that likely losses in the champions cup would effect our form in the premiership as it has affected Sale Sharks this season.

Looking at the table now we are right in the mix for top 6. If we had beaten tigers earlier in the season we would be 7th.

We sit 9th on 29 points with only 4 points separating us between 5th place Leicester tigers, I'm as excited as I'll ever be as a Falcons fan.

I'm even more excited when I look at our remaining games left-
An away trip to Sale and Bristol...both beaten this season

Home games against Gloucester and Northampton. Both teams we have beaten away this season and are well capable of doing the double over.

Saracens at home, is in the middle of the six nations, anything is possible...

If we win those games we can finish 6th. Its a big ask, but it is achievable for our squad.

If we did qualify, how do you think we would play the following season? We have great depth in the second row/back row. A quality Range of hookers. And numerous lethal wingers, if we retain all these guys over the summer and bring in some class at 13, a loosehead and another utility back. We could well compete with the likes of Munster, Ospreys and Toulon or give them a good go...

Not to mention the best teams in Europe will sell out KP? ECC has never brought big crowds, so these 4 pool games would bring in tonnes of new faces that would probably start attending premiership games as well.

Anyway just wondering your thoughts, where do you think we will finish in the league. And if we do qualify how do you think we will go in the top flight of Europe. Is it too soon? Over to you guys.

I'm hopeful of it to be honest, I think It will do the club wonders.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
digitalsys (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 19:05
Theoretically..... we 'could' finish top 4 smiling smiley

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
davidten (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 19:06
Your right I think it is achievable and it would make for a fantastic season playing against Europe’s top clubs but I think it would be to the detriment of the club. It’s coming too soon for us, we haven’t got a large enough squad to cope and is the money there to afford the quality players we would need to compete with the best in Europe. I know that sounds negative but I’d rather have a few seasons building nicely in the Aviva finishing mid table.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
helmet (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 19:17
still think we,ll finish about 9th which is steady improvement

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 19:18
I have been wondering the same thing too FF. Does anyone know how much dosh comes with playing in the Champions Cup? I think it is quite a decent amount so will cover signings to enlarge the squad, the big question of course being who is available.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 19:34
Quote:
digitalsys
Theoretically..... we 'could' finish top 4 smiling smiley

Do a Leicester city, we are 300/1 to win the title haha

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
AFalcon24 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 19:46
Interesting I was just thinking about this the other day. I do think you need some top quality players a long with a solid squad like we have I believe, if you are going into that tournament. If we retain our current players and add some serious quality in certain positions, like centre for example I really do feel we could compete. smiling smiley

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 19:47
Davidten, As you say it's anyone's spot this season, the league is so tightly contested.

That is a good point, I think it has effected sales form massively. Mind you, their lack of ability to retain their best players and lack of depth has also played a part in their poor season.

Did Northampton qualify for the Heineken cup as soon as they came back up?

I too think building over the years is good, but if we retain out of contract players and manage to add extra quality.. we could be a force, obviously players might be attracted through our form. And qualification. Players want to play at the highest level and test themselves against the best.

I think the next 5 months will let us know monkey, if we show we can be consistent and win all our home games firstly, and maybe pick up an away win or 2. We should be about there.

Massive 5 months for the club and for once it's not relegation... exciting times indeed.

I think the main thing dean has to do, is retain lads like Marcus Watson and bring in affordable quality. We have brilliant depth in some areas, but lack of in others, positions like 12 and 10.

Some of the guys pinch well above their weight, I have been well impressed with witty, Fred Burdon, Ben Sowrey and Joel Hodgson this season, proper under the radar players matching it with the best.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 19:51
Quote:
AFalcon23
Interesting I was just thinking about this the other day. I do think you need some top quality players a long with a solid squad like we have I believe, if you are going into that tournament. If we retain our current players and add some serious quality in certain positions, like centre for example I really do feel we could compete. smiling smiley

Good point Afalcon, the first time Connacht competed 5 years ago in the Heineken cup, they only had a small squad and only won one game, but like sale, it affected their form, they lost 15 games back to back before beating Quins.

The positives are though it attracted players like dan parks and mills muliahina to come to the club.

They sold out the sports ground and got big crowds in for all the games. And it really put them on the rugby map, i think it can benefit us in the same way.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
dick g (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 19:52
Quote:
helmet
still think we,ll finish about 9th which is steady improvement

Any single figure finishing position would, indeed, be a great improvement. But I think we can end up 5th or 6th. But then my positivism has no bounds.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
digitalsys (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 19:54
I have a small wager on this lol

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Wensleydale Falcon (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 20:02
A small wager with a potentially big outcome....£££££££££

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 20:10
Deano and the players are very confident. They know they can mix it with the best. When we where at saracens we managed to compete for a good 60 minutes.

You ve got guys like marchelo Bosch going up against Fred burdon

Will Skelton going up against Callum green

Itoje vs Callum Chick.

Owen farrell against Joel Hodgson

These guys going head to head with the best players in the world and matching their ability. I have full confidence in our boys and they are soaring. They are full of confidence at the minute and it's always nice to see them wanting to be better. Good signs indeed!

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Osric (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 20:14
This may be (is) unambitious on my part but I'd be delighted with seventh this season. It'd mean five clubs finishing below us, rather than the customary one (or none) and would mark a massive improvement in the on field offering. It would also stop us over reaching and doing a Sale. For fear of sounding all Boycott-like, how would we fair with injuries next game to three players - say Hodgson, JPS and Bobby V? I don't think our squad is strong enough yet to compete in two demanding competitions and getting our best team walloped in a Euro tournament would be more of a drain than a fillip. Give it one or two more seasons of mid table progress, then it's a different story. If we can average an extra 800-1,000 per home game and then push that to 1,500, giving us an average prem attendance of 7,500-8,000 then the extra revenue might make it possible. The dangers of running before walking litter sport - take Leeds in the round ball game, for example.
I'd love it, just love it if we could get into single figures for our finishing position and double figures in the W column. It's possible.

'Dare we hope? We dare. Can we hope? We can. Should we hope? We must....' to slightly misquote the late, great Andy Ripley.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 20:30
Quote:
Osric
This may be (is) unambitious on my part but I'd be delighted with seventh this season. It'd mean five clubs finishing below us, rather than the customary one (or none) and would mark a massive improvement in the on field offering. It would also stop us over reaching and doing a Sale. For fear of sounding all Boycott-like, how would we fair with injuries next game to three players - say Hodgson, JPS and Bobby V? I don't think our squad is strong enough yet to compete in two demanding competitions and getting our best team walloped in a Euro tournament would be more of a drain than a fillip. Give it one or two more seasons of mid table progress, then it's a different story. If
we can average an extra 800-1,000 per home game and then push that to 1,500, giving us an average prem attendance of 7,500-8,000 then the extra revenue might make it possible. The dangers of running before walking litter sport - take Leeds in the round ball game, for example.
I'd love it, just love it if we could get into single figures for our finishing position and double figures in the W column. It's possible.

'Dare we hope? We dare. Can we hope? We can. Should we hope? We must....' to slightly misquote the late, great Andy Ripley.

Not at all osric! 7th would be an amazing achievement given the last 7 years really. Look at the talent coming out of the academy as well. Testemant must go to all the coaches and staff at KP for the improvements. The players as well, their ambition and hunger to be better is also crucial. We have a really good blend of local players and overseas talent at the minute. As said with another 12/13 to compete with JPS. A 10 to push Joel and replace him if injured and a loosehead. We should be able to compete. Players like Michele campangaro who is a quality starter but gets most of his game time in the A league would fit in beautifully at KP. Still hope we sign someone like him over the summer.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
pa8 (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 20:51
[quote Monkey1]I have been wondering the same thing too FF. Does anyone know how much dosh comes with playing in the Champions Cup? I think it is quite a decent amount so will cover signings to enlarge the squad, the big question of course being who is available.[/quote

In an interview with the Chiefs chief exec about Income from Europe.

“In rugby’s European Cup and European Challenge Cup, there is no money involved at all until you get up to the quarters and semi-finals and even then, it is just a share of the gate,” explained Exeter Chiefs’ chief executive Tony Rowe.

“A lot of the clubs in the competition are very similar to Exeter in that our season ticket prices include the cup games.

“If you get an additional cup game and you are at home, you get 60 per cent of the gate and you give your opponent 40 per cent.”

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
A tramp abroad (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 20:56
7th would be a great achievement considering where we were last season. Champions Cup next season would be a step too far. We do not have the depth of quality in our squad and I think it is unrealistic to think we can add the necessary quality over the summer.

Getting thrashed in the Champions Cup a la Sale and the Italian clubs would be a step backwards. Let's take it one step at a time, Rome was not built in a day.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
NorfolkFalcon (IP Logged)
10 January, 2017 21:22
I echo the most recent posts. Think it would be detrimental to our long term progress if we are to compete in the Champions Cup next season. Finish 7-8th if possible this season, improve the squad and we could have a genuine chance to compete for a top 6 finish next season.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Robs (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 00:31
I' really like us to challenge strongly for the Challenge Cup next season.
I'd love to do some European away games but until now I've hesitated for fear of spending a lot of money to watch us lose.
(Shows what a c**p supporter Iam !)

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Falcons_Thunder (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 07:13
You ve got guys like marchelo Bosch going up against Fred burdon

Will Skelton going up against Callum green

Itoje vs Callum Chick.

Owen farrell against Joel Hodgson

These guys going head to head with the best players in the world and matching their ability. I have full confidence in our boys and they are soaring. They are full of confidence at the minute and it's always nice to see them wanting to be better. Good signs indeed![/quote]

To be fair sarries didn't even get out of second gear against us and they were out on the @#$%& during the week in Europe. You can't compare players like itoje and Farrell who are truly world class. KP is a hard place to come everyone knows that. But next year we could be fighting for premiership survival unless we invest in squad depth.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 08:17
Quote:
Falcons_Thunder
But next year we could be fighting for premiership survival unless we invest in squad depth.

That would be my fear too if we overstretch ourselves.

I would love to know what happens to all the TV & sponsorship money, which will be a substantial figure, if none of it is given to the clubs in the competition except a bit scattered amongst those who finish top. It is a hugely expensive competition to compete in, and a share of gate money isn't going to cover much, especially from teams in France who charge a pittance for tickets.

If we earn diddley squat from being in the competition but have to shell out a fortune on extra players it will cripple the club & would be best off finishing 7th this season.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Leipziger (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 08:32
I'm really surprised there isn't that much money in the Champions Cup for the clubs, since they seem to have a much bigger stake in running it now under EPCR rather than the old regime.

Some people are saying it's too early for us to play in the Champions Cup... I remember people saying about it being too early for Bristol City to get promoted to the footy Premiership a few years ago when they were challenging for the playoffs. They never got promoted and are now just three points above the Championship relegation zone. I wonder if their fans wish they'd just got one season in the Premiership to enjoy, even if they had come straight back down?

My point is that even if the Falcons don't qualify for the Champions Cup next season, we could still end up fighting relegation next year, and return to 11th place for the next few seasons. So lets just go for it, if we get top 6 make the best of it, and enjoy the ride!

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Falcons_Thunder (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 08:51
That's what I don't get we've made a big leap forward but some of the teams around us have also went backwards this season (sale, Gloucester, Quinn and Worcester)
Quinn's and Gloucester are strengthening with some quality signing tho Gloucester are losing some great players and sale seem to be the favourite for Ford. We need to build now and not say "well look what we've achieved this season with our limited team". Monkey hit the nail on the head what if Hodgson gets injured who's gonna keep that momentum going? Delaney? Catterick? We need another FH of good quality to challenge Hodgson week in, week out. We need to keep Watson whatever the cost he's electric. We need a FH, 13 and a LH.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
dick g (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 09:21
Quote:
NorfolkFalcon
I echo the most recent posts. Think it would be detrimental to our long term progress if we are to compete in the Champions Cup next season. Finish 7-8th if possible this season, improve the squad and we could have a genuine chance to compete for a top 6 finish next season.

Before my unbridled optimism took over, this was my position. Finishing 7th would be good and not rush us headlong into a competition in which we might struggle. I am longing to run, but later brisk walk will probably be better at this moment in time.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 09:32
I really cannot make my mind up if 7th/8th is the best place for us or top six where we could attract the odd top - notch player.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
telfs123 (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 11:14
7th would still give us a chance of Champions Cup- we'd be potentially entered into the playoffs depending on who wins the Challenge Cup. I'd love to finish 7th-8th, take the higher quality of signings that would allow us and then build next year, aiming to finish top 6 and make a cup run, seeing as the final (or it bloody better be) may be at home!

Our remaining fixtures:
Sale (a)
Saints (h)
Exeter (a)
Saracens (h)
Quins (a)
Gloucester (h)
Leicester (a)
Wuss (h)
Bris (a)

I definitely see 6 very winnable games there, 7 depending on which way Leicester go with Cockers gone. And as people have said, Sarries at home in the middle of the 6N- anything could happen! From those I reckon (mystic telfs) we get 5 wins (Sale, Saints, Glaws, Wuss, Bris), 1 TBP, 2 LBP. Which would give us 23 points and 52 overall. Over the past few years 6th has had 57-60 points. So we'd be about 1 win short. That would give us an excellent season overall



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2017 11:30 by telfs123.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
NorthernMaori (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 12:05
As a Sale fan I come in peace!

Firstly, what a good season you guys are having, you are a pleasure to watch at the moment. Going to KP is also a great trip with easy access and vocal support (both things we are currently missing).

Secondly, although it would be great to see Newcastle in the Champions Cup I think ambitions should be targeting 7th in the Aviva. This would show potential players that the club is developing at significant pace and would allow the club to enter the Challenge Cup, without having winning runs interrupted with heavy losses to European Powerhouses. We at Sale thought it was a great idea getting in to the Champions Cup, when we went on our run last year, but having taken the last position for entry we were then ranked in the bottom rung of clubs and so got grouped with "actual" champions. Losing heavily is not great for the team and it is not great for the supporters. Nobody wants to watch their boys get smashed and any potential fans will simply look at the results rather than the competition they were in.

Look at the effect winning in Europe has given Bristol (obviously not in the same position as you this season but still).


Lastly, well done to the Falcons backroom team, including the community rugby section, the work that the Club is doing in the North East is significant and long may it continue!

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
aidanb (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 12:46
Dreams are all well and good

however

just take each game as it comes

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 13:01
Thanks Northern Maori - good points there

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
GeordieFalcon (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 14:27
Yeah agree with many of the comments above...

Id rather just focus on the prem. I think the Champions Cup would be too much of a distraction...unless Dean continues with his general theme of playing the fringe players mixed with the odd first team regular.

But then what does that achieve if they get smashed off the park by Munster, Clermont etc etc...game after game.

Nah lets just keep it sensible...and just work on being a mid table prem team!

Lets not get carried away - feet on the ground!

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Too far away (IP Logged)
11 January, 2017 19:43
Champions cup rugby is definitely achievable if you look at the table, whether it desirable is a different thing. I think the squad still needs time to build before it can do two campaigns at once. If you look at the current squad and how many injuries there are, having the next few weeks to recuperate and play in recovering and fringe players isn't a bad thing.

I remember Bristol went down last time after qualifying for the then HEC and Sale right now look very stretched.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
13 January, 2017 00:54
A great debate going on here everyone. A lot referring to how we don't have enough depth to compete in two campaigns. In some areas yes I agree. But I think the bonuses off the pitch outweigh the ones on it. And I think the depth issue at places like fly half could be addressed over the summer.

In terms of off the field. It would really put us on the rugby map and a place to be. Challenge cup has never brought crowds bigger than 5,000, and I'm positive our lads would give a Leinster side a good go at a sold out KP! More bums on seats equals more money. More money gives us more funds. More appealing to players to join a club playing at the highest level. And I can't remember the last time we where in the champions cup, so it would just be a fantastic occasion for us. Lastly I think even though this season is going really well, for all we know we could be back in a bottom two battle last year. Clubs like glos, saints look to be throwing cash about.

In terms of how it could affect us like it has sale, I believe we have a way bigger squad that is big enough to compete on two campaigns.

For example-
Sale back row options
Tom Curry
Ben Curry
Magnus Lund
Dave Seymour
Cam Neild
Lawrence Pierce
Josh Beaumont
TJ IONE

Newcastle back row options
Mark Wilson
Nili Latu
Will Welch
Ally Hogg
Evan Olmsted
Dan Temm
Opeti Fonua
Tyrone Holmes
Harrison Orr
Sean Robinson
Callum Chick
Josh Chisinga

Sale centre options
Mark Jennings
Will Addison
Sam tuitupou
Johnny Leota

Newcastle centre options
JP Socino
Dom Waldouck
Chris Harris
Adam Powell
Fred Burdon
Mike Delany
Craig Willis
Beli Agulla
Nic Renoylds
Niki Goneva

Sale back three
Denny Solomona
Josh Charnley
Tom Arscott
Mike Haley
Paulo Odogwu

Newcastle back three
Simon Hammersly
Marcus Watson
Niki Goneva
Sinoti sinoti
Beli Agulla
Zach Kibirige
Chris Harris
Mike Delany
Joel Hodgson
Brett Connon

Lastly second row depth-
Sale sharks-
George Nott
John Mills
Josh Beaumont
Andrei Ostrikov
Bryn Evans

Newcastle second row depth-
Will Witty
Sean Robinson
Callum Green
Evan Olmsted
Mo Botha
Nick Civetta
Andrew Davidson
Mark Wilson

I think our squad has well more depth than sales, in quality as well. If we sign a quality 10 to push Joel or if brett develops enough and get Harris firing on all cylinders we should be able. You have to remember we have been hugely unlucky with injuries.

if we had a game one week in Europe-

1.sam Lockwood
2. Kyle Cooper
3. Jon Welsh
4. Evan Olmsted
5. Callum Green
6. Mark Wilson
7. Nili Latu
8. Opeti Fonua
9. Sonetane Takalua
10. Joel Hodgson
11. Marcus Watson
12. JP Socino
13. Chris Harris
14. Sinoti Sinoti
15. Simon Hammersly.
16. Ben Sowrey
17. Scotty Wilson
18. Rob Vickers
19. Will Witty
20. Callum Chick
21. Micky Young
22. Brett Connon
23. Beli Agulla

Now if we had a game in the prem the weekend after, let's say some of the guys got injured like latu, Lockwood, or even Jp Socino- never seems to get injured, look at the team we can call on.

1. Rob Vickers
2. Scotty Lawson
3. Scotty Wilson
4. Sean Robinson
5. Will Witty
6. Mark Wilson
7. Will Welch
8. Callum Chick
9. Micky Young
10. Mike Delany-new signing needed but will do
11. Niki Goneva
12. Dom Waldouck
13. Adam Powell
14. Beli Agulla
15. Alex Tait
16.kyle Cooper
17. Davey Wilson
18. Ben Harris
19. Mo Botha
20. Sam Egerton
21. Brett Connon
22. Craig Willis
23. Fred Burdon

We have well more competition going on than sale. A great culture and without being riddled with injuries, we could well compete, we've had over 10 guys out at points of the season. We have a wealth of experience to replace as well. If sale lost Beaumont they would replace him with 19 y old tom curry, we could call on Welch, nili, Sean robbo, ally Hogg. Chicky. All would do solid jobs.

I just think the positives of qualifying outweighs the negatives. Unless we have a honorific injury list like this and last season we should be able to compete. Bigger crowds. Big occasions, the place to be, and an achievement for the club, I'm all for it. It's only the manor in which you lose like sale is disappointing. They could have performed well better in some games.

Some great points made by everyone, I just think it would be a fantastic occasion, and like many young people im probably to impatient to wait another season for champions cup rugby at KP that we may not see anyway. Hope the lads do enough to qualify.

COYF!!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 13/01/2017 01:12 by falconsfan07.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
aidanb (IP Logged)
15 January, 2017 09:06
When you put it like that.

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
Leipziger (IP Logged)
15 January, 2017 18:56
I'm surprised you only had to edit that post once, FF7!

 
Re: Champions cup rugby achievable?
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
15 January, 2017 19:02
Quote:
Leipziger
I'm surprised you only had to edit that post once, FF7!

Hahaha I am too tbh, I done that in bed after a night at the pub as well...

Sale have a small squad so it's not hard to miss out players really. Mind you I don't think depth comes into it a lot of the time.

Apart from 9/10 they've got good players all over when fit.

At the end of the day sale are losing games because there making mistakes and missing kicks really.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15/01/2017 19:15 by falconsfan07.


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