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Next two matches

Saturday 24th February v Harlequins at The Stoop, 2.30pm

Saturday 3rd March v Gloucester at Kingsholm, 3.00pm

Last result: Newcastle Falcons 29-12 Bath


Our Scrum
GeordieFalcon (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 09:53
Fantastic win last night...the boys were fantastic, and the crowd was simply deafening at times!

But one glaring issue still stood out for me...our scrum. Now I know the ref had some considerable influence in this area as well last night...

However

Considering the calibre of players we have in that pack, the physicality etc..why do we struggle so much at scrum time. I appreciate stats suggest our scrum is good...but the reality is , I just don't see it.

Why are we struggling to fix that area...or do you disagree that its bad?

 
Re: Our Scrum
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 10:08
My impression from watching games is we've gone ok over the course of the season, do we give up many pens? I don't have stats on it can anyone help?

 
Re: Our Scrum
alas (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 10:16
You only give the opposition a lot of scrum put-ins if you make mistakes and I think the Falcons only lost the ball forward twice yesterday and were similarly good against Bordeaux. On their own ball the scrum is good enough to get the ball away. Given the surface the Falcons play home games on and that referees give fewer scrum penalties than they used to, I much prefer the current policy of spending money on top-class attacking players rather than powerhouse props. You can't spend the same money twice.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 10:26
But we do seem to waste money on players that don't get much game time. We must have about 4 props in the squad who are never going to be AP class and a few locks and backrowers in a similar boat.

The scrum is awful, as it has been for most games this season. We win despite getting hammered in the scrum and have mastered the art of getting the ball out quick so teams can't attack us.

It shouldn't really be like this, we need to gain parity in most of our games as it costs us through the season. Our pen stats on opposition ball must be through the roof, I'd love to see the stats as we give away at least 4 or 5 a game min.

We either need some decent props or somebody who knows how to coach the scrum as Ward clearly doesn't (unless all our props are that bad at scrummaging?)

The main weakness is the LH side obviously, Vicker really struggles. Lockwood is a much better option but can we depend on him to stay fit?

 
Re: Our Scrum
AFalcon24 (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 11:04
We need a quality LH for next season I think even another quality TH especially if we do get into the Champions Cup, as there is some monster packs in there and I think the club will know that. smiling smiley

 
Re: Our Scrum
SaintsAsh (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 11:13
Well I am a Saints fan and I would give my left arm for your scrum.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Osric (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 11:16
One prop if each type on the top of the shopping list. Bobby V canít go on forever .... can he?

 
Re: Our Scrum
alas (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 11:16
You need to stick Brookes into boot camp. Get him fit and he's a good player.

 
Re: Our Scrum
exhooker (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 12:05
Yesterday's problem came when we had front row players out of position because of injury. IT strikes me as fascinating that I you don't have 3 front rowers then scrums are uncontested but the same doesn't apply futher back. If Exeter had been a bit more savvy they would kncked on more near our line in the hope of a scrum penalty even on our put in.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 13:35
Quote:
exhooker
Yesterday's problem came when we had front row players out of position because of injury. IT strikes me as fascinating that I you don't have 3 front rowers then scrums are uncontested but the same doesn't apply futher back. If Exeter had been a bit more savvy they would kncked on more near our line in the hope of a scrum penalty even on our put in.

We were under the cosh for 80mins in the scrum, I counted at least 5 pens?

 
Re: Our Scrum
pa8 (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 17:56
Quote:
exhooker
Yesterday's problem came when we had front row players out of position because of injury. IT strikes me as fascinating that I you don't have 3 front rowers then scrums are uncontested but the same doesn't apply futher back. If Exeter had been a bit more savvy they would kncked on more near our line in the hope of a scrum penalty even on our put in.

Why would you deliberately knock on near your oppositionís try line in order to get a penalty ?

 
Re: Our Scrum
exhooker (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 21:08
Because towards the end we were so demolished in the scrum that a penalty try(plus yellow card) would have been very likely given the way we were being reffed. In open play our defence was superb

 
Re: Our Scrum
pa8 (IP Logged)
08 January, 2018 23:31
If it gets to a scrum we could have had channel 1 ball and cleared as we have numerous times this season or we could have picked up the loose ball after the deliberate knock on and hoofed it down to halfway. Seems a bit of a chance to throw the ball away near the opposition in the hope of a scrum, just saying.

 
Re: Our Scrum
markismith50 (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 02:27
Not to mention the fact a deliberate knock on is a penalty to the opposition, not a scrum. What a bizarre thread.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 03:57
I can't recall a penalty ever been given for a deliberate knock on from the offensive side.

I can see your point hooker but in theory I doubt any side would do this. Our scrum is an utter shambles though and targeted week in week out. Poor Bob Vickers needs to be put out to pasture, what a servant though.

 
Re: Our Scrum
pa8 (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 06:36
Apart from the deliberate knock downs in the line out back in the 70s and 80s Iím struggling to remember a deliberate knock on by the team in possession.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 07:44
Oh for pity's sake, I don't know where this idea has come from that our scrum is so terribly bad that it is deemed to be a shambles, diabolical, and all the other claptrap that has been hurled at it. No it isn't the strongest & most consistently effective scrum in the Premiership, but it isn't as bad as two or three people on here seem determined to make it out to be either. Most games it holds out fine, does the job, and our quick attacking ball out of scrums is often a strong point that others don't seem able to manage.

Unless those who blather on here every blasted day about how shameful our scrum is can back it up with some statistics, maybe it is time that they take a break, accept that they have made a point, and stop harping on about it.

 
Re: Our Scrum
aidanb (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 08:31
Everybody takes a look at Monkey and decides to just take a step or two back.

Hee hee

 
Re: Our Scrum
dick g (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 08:44
Well done Monk. Do you have a pack of mighty monsters who trundle from scrum to scrum as happened in my playing days or athletes who are (almost) as happy on the wing as in the tight? I don't want us to go down the road of RL, but there is a compromise to be made in the modern game. How many times this season have we been pushed off our scrum ball or seen our scrum half scragged? This is the evidence needed to support the view that Micky ("He's short, he's round, he's worth a million pounds") Ward doesn't know what he's up to.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 09:07
To be fair Monkey, this is a thread about our scrum, if you don't like it you don't have to read it.

You don't need statistics (although they would help....I can't find any). Every game we're conceding penalties on opposition ball. Every game we're getting walked back. Every game we're having to get the ball out super fast so we don't allow the opposition time to attack us.

I like the way we can get the ball out fast on the most part but there are times when this isn't the best option, what do we do then? We often find ourselves in the opposition 22...we knock on, concede a penalty and lose 40m and possession.

It's the one part of our game which has constantly been poor for the last 3 years or so, it's needs addressing.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 09:11
"How many times this season have we been pushed off our scrum ball or seen our scrum half scragged?"

How many times have we conceded a penalty on opposition ball? Way, way too many is my answer to this.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 09:48
Personally I'd like some stats to back this up. To say: "How many times this season have we been pushed off our scrum ball or seen our scrum half scragged?"

"How many times have we conceded a penalty on opposition ball? Way, way too many is my answer to this."

without any factual evidence doesn't hold water for me. I like facts to back up an argument. I thought Prem rugby published scrum & lineout stats?

 
Re: Our Scrum
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 09:57
Quote:
Pool_falcon
To be fair Monkey, this is a thread about our scrum, if you don't like it you don't have to read it.

Erm, I didn't say I didn't like it, and why shouldn't I read it? Or is it that you don't think anybody should stand up & say you are wrong?

I just happen to think that a couple of people are obsessed with rubbishing our scrum, and I happen to disagree. Is that not allowed?

We are playing our best rugby for years, we have results to back that up, we are in the top half of the table, and are the first team to send Exeter away pointless for something like two years. If our scrum really was as bad as some feel compelled to make out, then surely we wouldn't be in this position.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Mafia (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 10:21
I agree that we are in the best place we have been for years. But I also agree that with a more solid scrum that did not struggle when the heat comes on we could yet be better.

I think it is worthwhile considering heavy investment in the Summer with a view to further progress and possibly Champions Cup rugby into a solid top class scrummaging tighthead prop.

I am thinking of how well our scrum went with Marius Hurter and Carl Hayman in that slot with special beloved mention for The Tank. A quality anchor does make a difference and it was visible each time these individuals packed down. Obviously a decent scrummaging hooker (I think we are fine there) and a good Loosehead - we could do with another or move Welsh across to go with Lockwood (assuming the tighthead is acquired) who looks a tremendous prospect (Mavinga could come good as well yet). I think Scott Wilson could be that rock at tighthead in the future.

If we just acquire a top quality tighthead scrummaging beast of a prop this summer and retain those we want to retain I would consider our recruitment a success.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 10:22
Yes, one facet of your game can be poor and you can still do quite well. I seem to recall Bath having a real drama with their lineout a few season back and they still managed a top half finish.

Of course you're entitled to your opinion, as is everyone, none of us are more right or wrong.

"Unless those who blather on here every blasted day about how shameful our scrum is can back it up with some statistics, maybe it is time that they take a break, accept that they have made a point, and stop harping on about it."

That isn't particularly open to discussion though. I will carry on "harping on" about anything that takes my fancy thanks very much, I don't need your permission to do so. Why do I need statistics? It's you that's attacking my opinion, where are your statistics to suggest we have a good scrum on opposition ball?

"without any factual evidence doesn't hold water for me. I like facts to back up an argument. I thought Prem rugby published scrum & lineout stats?"

Just completion rates as far as I'm aware Bedlington, which are only on your own ball obviously. I may need to do some more digging or taking numbers through the game.

The scrum is my favorite part of union, perhaps this why I pick up on it a bit more than the average Joe.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 10:23
Quote:
Mafia
I agree that we are in the best place we have been for years. But I also agree that with a more solid scrum that did not struggle when the heat comes on we could yet be better.
I think it is worthwhile considering heavy investment in the Summer with a view to further progress and possibly Champions Cup rugby into a solid top class scrummaging tighthead prop.

I am thinking of how well our scrum went with Marius Hurter and Carl Hayman in that slot with special beloved mention for The Tank. A quality anchor does make a difference and it was visible each time these individuals packed down. Obviously a decent scrummaging hooker (I think we are fine there) and a good Loosehead - we could do with another or move Welsh across to go with Lockwood (assuming the tighthead is acquired) who looks a tremendous prospect (Mavinga could come good as well yet). I think Scott Wilson could be that rock at tighthead in the future.

If we just acquire a top quality tighthead scrummaging beast of a prop this summer and retain those we want to retain I would consider our recruitment a success.

Totally agree with that Mafia, we are playing some outstanding rugby.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 10:39
[quote Pool_falcon]Y

"without any factual evidence doesn't hold water for me. I like facts to back up an argument. I thought Prem rugby published scrum & lineout stats?"

Just completion rates as far as I'm aware Bedlington, which are only on your own ball obviously. I may need to do some more digging or taking numbers through the game. That would be interesting because then it isn't differing perceptions - we can discuss it based on some stats (I like stats!) if you follow scrummages more closely you well be right in what you're saying - it's just not mine and others perception so it would good to have something to inform the discussion. I suppose the other thing is the balancing act between strengthening a scrummage v losing ability elsewhere
one area potentially at the expense of another.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 10:49
I don't disagree Bedlington but it's just an area I really keep an eye on. If you asked me what happened at a particular breakdown etc I wouldn't be able to tell you for instance.

Realistically, LH is our main concern imo. Vickers isn't a good option in the set piece and he constantly ends up turning in. If we can address LH first, it would at least allow Welsh a chance to get at his opposite number, as at the minute he's on the backfoot almost instantly.

I don't think losing Vickers in the loose would be that much of a problem. He's great around the tryline but his work around the park isn't like Mako's for example, I think general play wouldn't suffer too much.

 
Re: Our Scrum
aidanb (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 10:58
Quote:
Pool_falcon
... Every game we're having to get the ball out super fast so we don't allow the opposition time to attack us.
...

....

Fast ball is essential to feed either of the half backs with an exit kick or to set our fantastically strong runners off at their back line with some space to work in

Quote:
Pool_falcon
...
I like the way we can get the ball out fast on the most part but there are times when this isn't the best option, what do we do then? We often find ourselves in the opposition 22...we knock on, concede a penalty and lose 40m and possession.

....

knocking on after the scrum has got bot all to do with the scrum

Quote:
Pool_falcon
...
It's the one part of our game which has constantly been poor for the last 3 years or so, it's needs addressing.

It's a restart these days not a power play and the only thing we can lack from it as an attacking weapon is the ability to push over for a try / penalty try but more often than not we can score from that position in other ways

 
Re: Our Scrum
aidanb (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 11:05
Quote:
Pool_falcon
...
Realistically, LH is our main concern imo. Vickers isn't a good option in the set piece and he constantly ends up turning in. If we can address LH first, it would at least allow Welsh a chance to get at his opposite number, as at the minute he's on the backfoot almost instantly. ....

I was just about to suggest a more robust loosehead may be the answer because they can destroy a tighthead and thus weaken the opposition scrum a lot more.

These days a tighthead is very important now that the hooker is having to "strike" again and someone who can weaken that effort is like gold dust. Lockwood looks the part for me and easing him back like they are doing is the very right thing to do.

Vickers should never be criticised for the work he is doing, he is half the size of a Jo Marler and is still there keeping us in games

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 11:10
Quote:
knocking on after the scrum has got bot all to do with the scrum

I never said it did. If we're attacking in the opposition 22 and knock the ball on, it results in the scrum. From the resulting scrum, we inevitably concede a penalty. The 10 kicks 40 yards up the line and they have possession.

Quote:
It's a restart these days not a power play and the only thing we can lack from it as an attacking weapon is the ability to push over for a try / penalty try but more often than not we can score from that position in other ways

If it was only a restart, sides would not go for the penalties against us as they usually do. I only want us to competitive, I'm not asking for Clermont's set piece etc.

If we can stop conceding on opposition ball I think we will see us winning even more games.

 
Re: Our Scrum
aidanb (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 11:18
Quote:
Pool_falcon
...
If we can stop conceding on opposition ball I think we will see us winning even more games.

16 SEP KO 22.00 Aviva Premiership Newcastle Falcons 7 V 29 Saracens
7 OCT KO 15.00 Aviva Premiership Exeter 34 V 24 Newcastle Falcons
29 OCT KO 15.00 Aviva Premiership Newcastle Falcons 13 V 30 Leicester
18 NOV KO 17.15 Aviva Premiership Wasps 40 V 10 Newcastle Falcons
24 NOV KO 19.45 Aviva Premiership Newcastle Falcons 7 V 29 Gloucester


Thats a list of the defeats we have had this season

Exeter away is the only game we have lost where it hasn't been a canny losing margin.

I don't think the scrum defeats in their 22 were the reason for those heavy defeats

 
Re: Our Scrum
aidanb (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 11:21
Quote:
Pool_falcon
Quote:
knocking on after the scrum has got bot all to do with the scrum

I never said it did. If we're attacking in the opposition 22 and knock the ball on, it results in the scrum. From the resulting scrum, we inevitably concede a penalty. The 10 kicks 40 yards up the line and they have possession.

In their own 22 most sides take quick ball and exit from there for fear of a referee penalty [as in he gave a penalty cos something must have happened rather than being 100% certain what he gave it for]

I think we all can agree that the scrum isn't our strong point but I think it isn't killing us in games the way your appearing to suggest here



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2018 11:28 by aidanb.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 11:37
Quote:
aidanb
Quote:
Pool_falcon
Quote:
knocking on after the scrum has got bot all to do with the scrum

I never said it did. If we're attacking in the opposition 22 and knock the ball on, it results in the scrum. From the resulting scrum, we inevitably concede a penalty. The 10 kicks 40 yards up the line and they have possession.

In their own 22 most sides take quick ball and exit from there for fear of a referee penalty [as in he gave a penalty cos something must have happened rather than being 100% certain what he gave it for]

I think we all can agree that the scrum isn't our strong point but I think it isn't killing us in games the way your appearing to suggest here

The 22 comment is an example.

As you say, most sides clear their lines and give possession back to the other side around the half way line. What happens to us is we concede a penalty and give possession to the opposition instead of ourselves. It's almost a full swing. This is just one example of course.

I'm not saying we would of won these games with a competitive scrum but we'd have certainly been in the game more. It's hard to equate as it needs more context. Perhaps we've lost 9 points because of the scrum and then chase game resulting in us losing further...who knows. I can't recall every game this season.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 13:03
It is worth trying the ESPN site although it is a pig to navigate around.

ESPN Falcons

If you use the menu on the left & select Results you can go back as far as our game at Wasps. Select each game then go to Match Stats.

Our scrums won stats for each prem game are as follows:
v Exeter 66%
v Irish 100%
v Quins 100%
v Saints 100%
v Glos 100%
v Wasps 100%

It is therefore hard to see how anyone could say that our scrums will inevitably result in a penalty being given away. My interpretation from those stats, combined with having watched all but two of those games is that actually we do ok, and the anomaly that is the Exeter game is possibly more to do with the refereeing of the second half than anything our forwards did wrong.

Just a thought.

 
Re: Our Scrum
BackrowFlyhalf (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 13:13
Spot on Monkey, i'm not sure we are ever going to dominate a scrum, however its not that often this season we have scrummaged as bad as everyone is saying. I think we never fully replaced Vea in the front row which is a shame.

Exeter in the second half were allowed by the referee to consistantly wheel the scrum. At every scrum, it always wheeled to the dictation of where Exeter wanted to, in both attack and defence.

These things happen from time to time, however its the least of our problems.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 13:36
Fair enough Pool falcon - you know more about than me. as Backrow Flyhalf said in the thread losing Vea was big blow to him and us.

 
Re: Our Scrum
DeceptivePace (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 14:14
Things might get worse before they get better. I was convinced that Gregor Townsend walked along in front of the North Terrace on Sunday and the Telegraph later confirmed him as being at the game.
No doubt he was having another look at Charris but given the Scottish front row situation, Jon Welsh may have been on his radar too. He has needed to play a lot of games since Vea was crocked and has responded magnificently.
Scott Wilson may need to step up during the Six Nations.

 
Re: Our Scrum
09 January, 2018 15:18
with all the new directives regarding the scrum over the past few years the scrum is becoming more and more just a method of restarting the game. As a coach i want the ball out as quick as poss to give my team as much forward gain as a team can get in order to turn the opposition through quick ball. In def you can put pressure on to win a scrum against the head by using your full pack or you can have your backrow up and harassing. this is the way Falcons play. we have a very mobile pack who all put a power of work in round the field and are very hard to break down. Now by adding abig strong and expensive front row would perhaps compromise that strong def
The falcons scrum is all about getting quick ball.
The scrum in Exeter game is a one off for me. their players have a style of play that they are drilled in from the moment they enter the academy and at the moment its being successful but it wont always be the case and when it does not work they dont seem to have a plan B as we proved on Sunday.
I would wager that our scrum is as successful as any in the prem and dont think we give away too many pens around it.
i also dont recall lots of games when the scrumhalf is being caught often the one or two occasion i remember has been our own fault due to miss communication with the back row.

enough of my waffle

lets just enjoy our time in the sun

 
Re: Our Scrum
too_tall_to_tackle (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 15:34
One thing I have never understood with the scrum is why the defending 9 is allowed around the side and to get in the hair of the attacking number 8. Logic would say that they should be offside (accepting that the offside rules are different for set pieces and that they are obviously allowed to). What is thiis law trying to achieve?

 
Re: Our Scrum
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 15:58
He's supposed to stay behind the ball, but the refs have been lax (surprise! surprise!) in letting them shove their opposite numbers - why they allowed this to creep in you'd have to ask them - although I doubt you'd get a good answer

 
Re: Our Scrum
alas (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 16:14
Scrum halves need to get in close so they can referee the game.

 
Re: Our Scrum
aidanb (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 16:30
Quote:
Bedlington Lad
He's supposed to stay behind the ball, but the refs have been lax (surprise! surprise!) in letting them shove their opposite numbers - why they allowed this to creep in you'd have to ask them - although I doubt you'd get a good answer

could the shove be because once the ball is in to the scrum the 9 who put it in is potentially in front of the ball and not in contact with the scrum thus offside. I don't know

 
Re: Our Scrum
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 18:15
To the best of my knowledge they are not meant to touch the scrum half who put the ball in - no reason to they don't have the ball

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 18:40
Quote:
Monkey1
It is worth trying the ESPN site although it is a pig to navigate around.
ESPN Falcons

If you use the menu on the left & select Results you can go back as far as our game at Wasps. Select each game then go to Match Stats.

Our scrums won stats for each prem game are as follows:
v Exeter 66%
v Irish 100%
v Quins 100%
v Saints 100%
v Glos 100%
v Wasps 100%

It is therefore hard to see how anyone could say that our scrums will inevitably result in a penalty being given away. My interpretation from those stats, combined with having watched all but two of those games is that actually we do ok, and the anomaly that is the Exeter game is possibly more to do with the refereeing of the second half than anything our forwards did wrong.

Just a thought.

Again, you've missed my point and the way a scrum can be judged. This is attacking stats which I've praised.

We have got getting the ball out down to an art so the opposition don't attack us. We must have the ball in the scrum for around 1-2 secs on our put in.

My issue is our scrum when the opposition put in and we can't hide our poor scrummaging and they attack us, usually forcing a pen. There are no stats for this as far as I'm aware but I would put my salary on us been one if not the highest penalised sides in the league.

If we were able to contest and at least gain parity, we would cut out this and stop losing territory and possession.

Suggesting we have a good scrum and quoting completion stats mean very little. People who don't understand the scrum generally role out these stats(sorry if that sounds rude). This is further backed up by your comment that you don't understand how we concede penalties using this stat.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2018 18:49 by Pool_falcon.

 
Re: Our Scrum
Pool_falcon (IP Logged)
09 January, 2018 18:44
Double post.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2018 18:46 by Pool_falcon.

 
Re: Our Scrum
mannin (IP Logged)
10 January, 2018 10:32
He's apparently put a call into Gary Graham to try and get him to change his mind about allegiance too...

Ben Harris good again at the weekend. Really think we missed out there.

Does Cameron Orr want to come and join Harrison in the NE at the end of the season?


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