Falconsfan07 has written five things we learned yesterday, here are five thoughts I had in the pub last night and along the A66 today.
1) In yer face
I think it’s been recognised for a while that the key to stopping the Falcons’ backs, especially Sinoti Sinoti and JP Socino, is to defend close to them. This denies them space to use their speed and creativity. Not every team can play a high defence well, but Saracens’ ‘Wolfpack’ did and we didn’t have much answer. How well the Falcons adapt in such situations, and how effective our plan B is, could be a difference between reaching the next level sooner, later or not at all.
For all the hype about Sean Robinson last season and Evan Olmstead this year, Calum Green has, for me, quietly become one of the first names on the teamsheet. The big East Anglian put in another strong performance yesterday in defence and attack, and his form is certainly contributing to the Falcons driving up the table.
3) Reality check
Although I thought yesterday might have been our best chance of beating Saracens since our last win over them in 2009, and we competed well, overall we were second best. It kind-of showed that although the Falcons have improved a lot this season, and deserve credit for that, we’re still a bit behind teams like Sarries. A bit of a reality check. But at least we’re moving in the right direction.
4) Fast reorganization
It’s a given that Saracens are currently a better team than us, but what really impressed me was how quickly they got organized at the breakdown. When a Saracens player was tackled, his teammates moved quickly into position and so the scrum-half was able to provide fast ball, and the attack continued fluently. Not something I notice with any but the best teams.
5) Bad sportsmanship
Saracens were winning by eight points with a minute and a half left. If we and Saracens were near each other in the table, or title/playoff/relegation rivals, I could’ve understood Sarries ambling back to halfway after our third try. It wouldn’t have been great, but it would’ve been understandable. As it was, they had the game won and whether we went on to get one or even two bonus points didn’t matter to them. Yet they still tried to waste time. It wasn’t good and well done to referee Craig Maxwell-Keys for stopping the clock.
Great article leipy, completely agree with everything, someone was shouting the ref has stopped the clock, but it doesn't matter, them ambling along will make the process much slower obviously and more likely for our guys to lose concentration, I was shouting "get on with it" because they where taking the p*ss!
They're defense was awesome, got to admire they're work ethic and line speed, although I don't think barritt and Bosch offer anything in attack apart from didtribution, they are hard solid defenders!
When I saw the sarries team, I didn't really expect to come away with 4 points, saracens showed a hell of s lot of respect to us by putting that team out and even more in the post match interviews, Mark Mcall and Billy V labelling us as an extremely dangerous good side and playing the some of the best rugby in the league, and they brought they're A game.
I left the ground after watching a cracking game and you could tell the boys gave it their all, they where hanging and blowing by the final whistle and as a fan I can't ask anymore than that.
Aye, big fan of Greens, I think he might be my player of the season along with Wilson Goneva n Socino!
To be fair to Sarries why should they get a move on? I'm sure if it was the other way round our guys wouldn't have exactly been doing a Linford Christie to get back and I don't think any other teams would.
On another note Mark McCall may not be everyone's cup of tea but he was very gracious in victory and said a lot of nice things about us. Was also good to see Billy V get a good run out.
Really good game and we can hold our heads high. Wish there were 15 games left not 5!
Exiled Falcon To be fair to Sarries why should they get a move on? I'm sure if it was the other way round our guys wouldn't have exactly been doing a Linford Christie to get back and I don't think any other teams would.
If they'd been 7 or fewer points ahead, or a bonus point for us would hurt them because we were close together in the table, I'd agree, but it didn't matter to them if we scored again.
Speaking as a Sarries fan, I think that's a very good reflection of the game. Falcons offer a massive threat with their strong running and speed of attack - just need to be slightly better organised in defence. I really feel they can make top 6 - and they deserve to! A fantastic day out, thanks to all the Falcons fans we met for making it so enjoyable
The top teams really know how to play the ref don't they? Sarries push the offside line in defence to the limit and in the lineout mauls. I think our guys can learn a lesson from Sarries on this - it really helped their defensive effort and disrupted ours - smart play
The Telegraph report was very critical of the ref for allowing Sarrie's first try in spite if an offside and denying Takalua's try. He said Sarries didn't really merit their half-time lead and concluded with "Newcstle got nothing from this game which felt harsh."
My view on this season is whatever the outcome we are now seen as a good enough club to attract the sort of players we have not been able to lure previously. Next season will be our's.
Takalua was an inch short and then knocked on. No real argument about that. Rhodes' try should have been reviewed to see if he was behind the back foot before Takulua fumbled. Maxwell Keys really isn't the referee you want when trying to deal with 'streetwise' opposition. Jim Hamilton must have thought it was his birthday. Side entry and collapsing at the maul all day long and threw in some obvious blocking at the restarts for good measure. However, the bottom line is that the Falcons made too many errors and gave away too many soft points to beat a top class team.
alas Takalua was an inch short and then knocked on. No real argument about that. Rhodes' try should have been reviewed to see if he was behind the back foot before Takulua fumbled. Maxwell Keys really isn't the referee you want when trying to deal with 'streetwise' opposition. Jim Hamilton must have thought it was his birthday. Side entry and collapsing at the maul all day long and threw in some obvious blocking at the restarts for good measure. However, the bottom line is that the Falcons made too many errors and gave away too many soft points to beat a top class team.
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