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Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome


By Leipziger
September 7 2013

 Bath gave the Falcons a lesson in the cutthroat world of Premiership rugby on our first game back in the top division, keeping a clean sheet on yet another win at Kingston Park.

The result means that the Falcons are bottom of the table after the first game of the new season, though of course there are five more matches this weekend.

 

After a summer celebrating promotion, Falcons fans did not pack out KP last night with less than 5,000 in attendance. Live TV coverage, an England football game and above all the cold, wet and windy weather all probably played a part.

 

Phil Godman was chosen to wear the number ten shirt as the post-Jimmy Gopperth era got underway, and he was partnered at half-back by compatriot Mike Blair. There were also debuts for Danny Barnes, Franck Montanella, Dominic Barrow and Andy Saull, while Kieran Brookes also started. Ally Hogg was captain due to Will Welch’s injury.

 

The Falcons lost Jamie Helleur just ten minutes into the game when the centre was knocked out in a loose tackle on Matt Banahan, Adam Powell coming on as a replacement. By this point, George Ford had already kicked Bath into a 0-3 lead with an early penalty.

 

For much of the first half the Falcons were in Bath’s half and looked more likely to score a try, especially through the forwards due to some strong drives by the likes of Barrow, Rob Vickers and Scott MacLeod. Noah Cato also had a chance outside but could not break through the defence. The backs overall were struggling, with Godman’s boot not 100% accurate tactically, or from the tee as the Scotsman missed a penalty that would have leveled the scores.

 

It was Bath however who were next on the scoresheet with Ford knocking over his second penalty, for a 0-6 half-time lead.

 

In the second half Bath became more dominant with the wind behind them, and after a pass missed Tom Catterick and a chance went begging, the away forwards took control. The Falcons were forced to defend for much of the rest of the game and it was not fun to watch.

 

One bright spot was the energy of Mark Wilson when he replaced Carlo del Fava.

 

Ford kicked Bath’s third penalty before the West Country side’s rolling maul did the rest of the damage to the scoresheet. The Bath forwards broke through the Falcons defenders on the left and Andy Saull was isolated, unable to stop replacement prop Anthony Perenise from getting the first try of the new Premiership season.

 

The Falcons brought on a replacement front row of Gary Strain, George McGuigan and Scott Wilson, and the Bath scrum became ever more dominant, literally trampling over the Newcastle pack at one point. The home players looked out on their feet after the try, exemplified by the otherwise excellent Barrow ambling towards a kick to the Falcons’ left corner and almost being caught out by the Bath attack.

 

The final insult came just before full-time. The Bath maul stormed towards the Falcons line on the right and collapsed over the line, and referee Wayne Barnes decided the defence had pulled it down, so awarded a penalty try. Ford’s conversion made the final score 0-21.

 

The game was a reminder to the Falcons of the need to take chances when they come in the Premiership. While we will not face sides as good as Bath every week, some will be more ruthless in taking their own chances. A win against Sale next week would be a good confidence-booster to everyone.

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Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome
FalconsRugby.org.uk (IP Logged)
07/09/2013 18:45
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Re: Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome
Horus (IP Logged)
07/09/2013 19:44
Leipy, re-first line second para, in the AP league table, as of 7th September, Falcons are in 10th place, L.Irish in 11th, and Exeter in 12th.

 
Re: Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome
corporalcarrot (IP Logged)
07/09/2013 22:15
Don't panic. jersey lost the first 6 games in the championship last season and toughed it out to stay up. Play to your strengths and support your team. Howay the falcons.

Don't kick it pick it up and GO FORWARD

 
Re: Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome
aidanb (IP Logged)
09/09/2013 22:36
The home players looked out on their feet after the try, exemplified by the otherwise excellent Barrow ambling towards a kick to the Falcons’ left corner and almost being caught out by the Bath attack.


I had a very different view if that.

He was running back then realised he was in a sprint race and put the effort in to get there

You could see the look on his face when he realised he had to put a spurt on and he pulled it out to get there and kick the ball to touch.

I was directly in line with has running angle and saw a different piece of work from you.

For me it epitomised the will to keep going.

 
Re: Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome
effja_ball (IP Logged)
10/09/2013 13:15
That replacement front row isn't very strong, is it? No wonder they got steamrollered.

 
Re: Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome
Leipziger (IP Logged)
10/09/2013 14:03
Pierre - ambling is probably an unfair term, I don't mean Barrow was being lazy, more that he looked exhausted and that as a team the confidence was gone. Of course from under the clock I couldn't see his face so you probably had a much better view to judge what was happening.

 
Re: Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome
aidanb (IP Logged)
10/09/2013 14:08
oh yes - he looked exhausted but I was delighted with the effort he put in to get there once he realised that he [who was just running] was the only Falcon who could get there.

 
Re: Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome
citizen-slacker (IP Logged)
11/09/2013 12:22
Quote:
efja
That replacement front row isn't very strong, is it? No wonder they got steamrollered.

I thought it was more to do with the second row replacements than just the front row.

 
Re: Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome
pityacker (IP Logged)
11/09/2013 16:48
Our same replacement front row playing for the A team pushed Sales A team 20 yards to get a penalty try on monday and had the better of them all game til they got replaced late in the game so I hope our first choice can do the same to Sales first team on Friday night.

 
Re: Falcons given brutal Premiership welcome
Talltree (IP Logged)
11/09/2013 19:14
And It was Anthony Watson that Barrow beat to the ball - one of Baths speedsters, a great effort on his AP debut

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