March 25 2012
The relegation picture looks the same now as it did on Friday morning, but there are now only four games left of the season and the Falcons will have targeted Friday's visit to Sixways for a win.
Unfortunately after a performance full of heart and effort, though unfortunately few real chances, Worcester pulled off a 19-9 win to leave us stuck eight points behind Wasps.
We may now need to beat either Gloucester or Saracens next month to have the chance to send Wasps down at Adams Park on the final day.
The Falcons prepared for a physical game, with James Goode making a first start for us and Matt Thompson starting for the first time this season in place of the suspended Rob Vickers. The big story though was Ireland legend Peter Stringer making a Falcons debut at scrum-half.
Jimmy Gopperth put the Falcons ahead with an early penalty and we dominated territory in the first half, though there were few chances for more significant scores.
What was promising was a lack of penalties given away, never mind yellow cards. The only one in the first half hour was from Corne Uys tackling a catcher just centimetres off the ground. Fair but marginal.
Stringer controlled his forwards well and fired passes around like Falcons scrum-halves have not done for a few years.
It looked like the Falcons would go into half-time ahead until Andy Goode knocked over a simple penalty from the 22.
After the break we went ahead twice more thanks to Gopperth penalties but each time Goode pulled us back.
The Falcons' discipline began to desert them a little, though not as much as in previous games, and Worcester began to control possession more. Marcel Garvey broke through some tackles before finally being hauled down on five metres.
As the Warriors probed finally the ball was brought over to their left and the Falcons' defence was slow to follow, allowing Alex Grove to fight through a gap and score the only try of the night. Goode converted.
Gopperth missed what should have been an easy three points and Worcester closed the game out.
So this Friday's game against Sale becomes an absolutely essential-win now if we are going to have any chance of getting off bottom, though that is only still realistically possible thanks to Northampton last night.
Now we have to take advantage by giving Sale another hammering.