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Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale

By Leipziger
November 30 2014

Stuff you think about while pounding back over the A69 and M6, while also wondering whether you will be pulled over for the rear number plate being too dirty:

Newcastle Falcons Mark Wilson is tackled by Sale Sharks Danny Cipriani (right)













1) Lineout woes

A lineout is, most of the time, a four-man operation at least and if one of those players doesn’t get their job right then possession can be lost, and the hooker will normally get the blame. I’m not going to condemn George McGuigan or anybody else for today’s lineout failures, but when you’ve had two or three go over the whole line and lost possession, surely it makes you think. So when you have a lineout on your own five-metre line, you might stick an extra player at the back as insurance in case the throw goes too long. This afternoon we didn’t, and almost paid for it.


2) Still royal

Rory Clegg had a really good game I thought, I don’t remember him missing a kick from the tee and he went after long kicks like he hasn’t so much before, though still perhaps not as fast as I would like. Some good kicks to touch, and nice play with the ball in hand. A decent partnership with JP Socino is developing too. Well done, Rory.


3) Hammering it

Simon Hammersley injected a bit of pace and liveliness into our attack when he replaced Alex Tait, and really gave Sale something to think about. Tait was solid enough in defence during his time on the pitch, and looked to spark some attacks, but he doesn’t really have Hammersley’s speed. Who plays at Harlequins in December will depend on what we want the full-back to do, and may well depend on whether Gonzalo Tiesi is fit to lead the defence. It’s great to have two really good options at full-back though.


4) Speed at scrum-half

I like Ruki Tipuna a lot, this guy has a lot of speed and trickery, exactly what we’ve missed at scrum-half since probably when Micky Young first came onto the scene. However, today Mike Blair and his replacement Warren Fury looked to keep quick ball flowing at the right times and the result was some exciting play by the Falcons in attack. It was ultimately fruitless, but there was none of the frustrating dallying that we have seen from Falcons nines in the past.


5) Slippy Cipriani

Danny Cipriani appears to be back to somewhere near his best. Creative, fast and mostly reliable from the tee, the controversial fly-half managed the game very well for Sale and certainly shouldn’t be discounted for a World Cup spot if Stuart Lancaster feels he can risk playing such a maverick. It’s so good to see Cipriani in the papers for all the right reasons now and I can’t help but feel pleased that such a talented player seems to have finally got his head right and is doing the right thing – putting top effort into his rugby.


Bonus thought) Winter sun

An odd-ball here: driving out of The Village of the Damned this morning, I was confronted by the twin menaces of the low winter sun and a wet road. It is a problem I’ve encountered before, but not on this scale – at two points I literally could not see in front for a few seconds. Hopefully the drivers of the coaches bringing Kendal and Kirkby Lonsdale’s juniors over from South Lakeland had no such frights.

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Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale (IP Logged)
30/11/2014 20:50
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Re: Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale
Kwa444 (IP Logged)
30/11/2014 22:10
Yes I too bemoaned Cipriani ' s lost years this afternoon.

That said ironically I believe (for the first time in my life) that he was hard done to when not being selected by England this autumn. Ford has done a reasonable job but nobody in the England 10 ranks has produced better than Cipriani this season. Sadly now his history and not having a noisy daddy seems to count against him!

England's loss has been Sale's gain this month - and our loss for that matter too!

Re: Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale
Jackie Cabbage (IP Logged)
01/12/2014 02:33
You saw the same game as I did! Spot on

Re: Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale
DeceptivePace (IP Logged)
01/12/2014 07:53
What is ironic is the man largely responsible for helping Cipriani find the focus that had been lacking is a dyed in the wool Geordie, Steve Black.

Re: Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale
AFalcon24 (IP Logged)
01/12/2014 09:57
Spot on, I think Blair is a class player but like you I do really like Tipuna he is my type of scrum half quick around the park. smiling smiley

Re: Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
01/12/2014 12:44
Just two weeks ago Smithy was quite rightly praising Henson for finally settling down at Bath & turning into the decent player he always should have been. Now Cipriani seems to have shaken off a silly past & is doing a fine job for Sale. I hope both appreciate the clubs that have enabled them to do this & resist urges to try pastures new next season.

Re: Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale
Toonfalcon (IP Logged)
01/12/2014 17:51
I thought Lancaster might have given Cipriani a run out for the Autumn Internationals. He is a class player as is Henson. They both seem to have grown up at last and I'd like to see them both play for their respective countries again.

I was down at Twickers to see the England v Australia game. Ford was impressive and there is going to be a hell of a a competition for the 10 jersey. Having said that I still would have Cipriani pencilled in

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