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The state of play – and the outlook


Top half in 2002

By Leipziger
January 18 2017

13 might be unlucky for some but, for the Falcons, we have seen by far our 13-game run into a season since promotion.

The Falcons have already won more matches than in any of the last three seasons, and have exceeded the total points gained in 2015/16 and 2014/15. We are only five points off beating 2014/15’s final total of 34 points.

 

But if we look further back, then how does our first half-and-a-bit of the season compare to past successful seasons? And what can we look forward to in May?

 

Well, since sights at Kingston Park are firmly set on first top-half finish since 2002, I compared our run this season to 2000/01 and 2001/02, Rob Andrew’s team finishing sixth in the Premiership in both years.

 

2000/01: 6 wins, 30 points (final totals: 11 wins, 57 points)

2001/02: 7 wins, 32 points (final totals: 12 wins, 56 points)

 

2013/14: 3 wins, 14 points (final totals: 3 wins, 22 points)

2014/15: 4 wins, 21 points (final totals: 5 wins, 34 points)

2015/16: 4 wins, 20 points (final totals: 5 wins, 27 points)

2016/17: 6 wins, 29 points

 

So our records aren’t too different. We have the same amount of wins as in 2000/01, and just a point fewer. One win (and draw) fewer than in 2001/02, but more bonus points.

 

Is beating 56 or 57 points a reasonable target for this season? Well, at the start of 2016/17 I thought 45 was a decent target, in the 50s would be fantastic. With more than a third of the season to go, on average we should be aiming towards 50.

 

The Falcons’ remaining league fixtures are:

Sale (A)

Northampton (H)

Exeter (A)

Saracens (H)

Harlequins (A)

Gloucester (H)

Leicester (A)

Worcester (H)

Bristol (A)

 

The ones I’ve highlighted in bold are games we might specially target as wins at the moment, though of course we could also easily lose all of them (such is the unpredictability in Falconsland). Lets say we won four of those games, that’s another sixteen points. If the Falcons picked up, say, five bonus points in our remaining nine games, that would return a total of 50 points for the season – our highest number since 2001/02, surely making 2016/17 a success in even the most pessimistic fan’s mind.

 

What would 50 points mean for our league position? Well, looking at past tables it would put a team between 6th and 9th depending on other clubs’ performances, but on average, 8th could be expected. I think most fans would have accepted 8th or above back in September.

 

So, to wrap that all up, what I’m saying is that if the Falcons keep up their form, we should expect to reach our highest Premiership points total for more than a decade, and break out of the league’s bottom two places. Happy days.

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The state of play – and the outlook
FalconsRugby.org.uk (IP Logged)
18/01/2017 15:19
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Re: The state of play – and the outlook
markismith50 (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 07:51
Really interesting article, Leipy. I will pass a copy to the rugby dept re the stats at this point in the season and how they correlate to final league position.

 
Re: The state of play – and the outlook
Leipziger (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 08:14
Cheers Smithy. I've just seen the numbers are a bit off, 29 points plus 16 plus 5 would equal 50, so I'll update what that would mean for finishing positions.

 
Re: The state of play – and the outlook
dick g (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 08:30
Are we living in a Deano wonderland?

 
Re: The state of play – and the outlook
NorfolkFalcon (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 09:03
As you've said, I don't think any Falcons fan could complain that 9th+ Finish would be a successful season. Most home games winnable with the odd away, gearing up to be our best for a long time.

 
Re: The state of play – and the outlook
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 10:08
Thanks Leipy - anywhere above bottom two is good, 7th would be nosebleed time!

 
Re: The state of play – and the outlook
lizard118 (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 10:30
With the way the season is unravelling I don't see why we can't get a win away to Harlequins. We should target all games as must win bar may be the Exeter game which is an away game and Exeter won't be much affected by 6 nations call ups.
I think with our returning players and being the home side I can see us beating Sarries at home, with their call ups. Onwards and upwards I say. I think we have a squad now capable of giving any team a game.

 
Re: The state of play – and the outlook
Leipziger (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 15:19
Updated now... 8th is a target!

 
Re: The state of play – and the outlook
Wensleydale Falcon (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 15:33
I guess 8th is your target Leipy?

As the teams target is a top 6 finish... and I believe we can do it!!

 
Re: The state of play – and the outlook
Leipziger (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 15:42
I'm just saying 8th is a likely finishing spot if the rest of the season goes as I expect it to.

My target would be to win every game, as Richards recently said is the team's target. After that, we will see where we finish as it depends on how many points other teams get.

 
Re: The state of play – and the outlook
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 15:57
Very interesting read that Leipz! I think we can finish 6th, although the tigers and wuss loss might really cost us come end of the season. Mind you the league is a lot tighter this year, and bar sarries and wasps, the top teams aren't winning as many games because teams like Newcastle have improved. Makes it a great battle for that top 6 spot!

I believe we can do it... if we are consistent! COYF!!

 
Re: The state of play – and the outlook
Cantabrian (IP Logged)
19/01/2017 17:47
Really interesting stuff. If we finish 6th it'll be beyond expectations and fantastic. An 8th place finish with 40odd points will be superb and I'm sure make everybody happy.


It'll give us time to strengthen the squad further, keep growing and maybe have a good shot at the Challenge Cup next season.

Whatever, the Falcons prospects look better now than at any time since about 2002. Happy Days indeed.Thanks Leipy

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