May 7 2012
The Falcons gave everything at Adams Park on Saturday but a 10-14 win was not enough to overtake Wasps at the bottom of the Premiership.
What it does mean, as if you don’t know, is that the Falcons’ Premiership status at the mercy of the Championship play-offs.
After 15 successive years in the top division we may go down, but we go down with our heads held high after making a big effort at staying up, and a realistic shot at returning this time next year.
Results last week meant that it was unlikely we would climb off bottom of the table, but several hundred Geordies descended on High Wycombe in hope and fine voice.
Gary Gold named an unchanged team for the third successive game in his last match in charge but in the first half an intriguing battle yielded no points until almost half-time. Jimmy Gopperth missed a penalty but Nicky Robinson made no mistake with his attempt in the closing minutes of the half, and then Christian Wade broke through our defence for a converted try.
At half-time, there was a philosophical mood on the terrace – it probably wasn’t going to happen anyway, but the team were putting in a decent performance and we were having a good time. Rugby is not just about the 80 minutes after all.
The first 15 minutes of the second half were spent singing whatever came to mind, including trying to find out how many Cockneys were in the stadium. The Falcons dominated Wasps and suddenly James Fitzpatrick forced his way to the line. The TV referee told Wayne Barnes to award the try and after Gopperth’s conversion, things heated up.
Three tries in 25 minutes? Why not?
Unfortunately despite the team’s best efforts and a yellow card for Ben Broster just before the first try, it didn’t happen. Tim Swinson had an effort correctly ruled out by the TMO, and by the time Peter Stringer crossed for a try in one of the final acts of his short by inspiring spell in a black shirt, the only difference it made was that we won the game on the day.
Not that that is to be sniffed at mind, it’s not often we win two away games in a row!
After the match the Falcons players looked a little despondent but held a long huddle on the pitch, no doubt being told to remember how they felt and use it for motivation to come back to the Premiership stronger than before if relegation is to be our fate.
The home spectators having already headed to bars and cars, our boys took the applause of their loud supporters. It wasn’t what we hoped for but we could be proud of the effort the team had put in, not just on Saturday but for most of the past few months.
We may be down, but we will not be out, thanks to Semore Kurdi’s arrival, and the future of our club still looks a bright one.
I for one am looking forward to weekends in Penzance and Jersey if that is where we are headed next season. After all, as Captain Hook might say were he a rugby fan: “To be relegated would be a great adventure”.