Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale
By Leipziger
February 1 2015

Newcastle Falcons may have been out of the LV= Cup before kick-off, but they blew Sale away in a four-try first half at Kingston Park today, eventually winning 39-19 to send 4,000 frozen Geordies home happy.

1) Enjoyable first half. We all know that following the Falcons has been far easier this season than for a few years, but even by the decent standards we have set in 2014/15, today’s first half was really good. I think it was helped by the lack of scrums, which meant a lack of resets. The Falcons suffered some discipline issues and penalties allowed Sale to stay in the game for a while, but four tries meant the bonus point was safe before half-time and the win was virtually secured. Even in the kick tennis there was fun, as fans eventually cheered both teams’ big boots!


2) Writer’s cramp. I presume rugby referees must supply reports about why they issue cards, and if so, Welsh whistler Rhys Thomas will be busy tonight after showing no less than FOUR yellows during today’s game. However, that didn’t spoil the game and overall I thought the man in charge had a decent afternoon.


3) Uili Knackered. Poor Uili Kolo’ofai. In three appearances for the Falcons he has yet to complete a half! Today, shortly after scoring our third try around the half-hour, the bearded Tongan went down and had to be replaced by Ally Hogg. It’s a shame, because he has some real grunt and makes metres with the ball in hand, and it’ll be interesting to see a) whether we see Big Willy again this season and b) whether he stays at KP in 2015/16.


4) Loan star. Alex Rogers has been a quiet man of the Falcons squad this season, and I believe he is still officially on loan from Blaydon. However, he has played in plenty of games and was part of a scrum going forwards today (when we had scrums!) and did a lot of good stuff around the pitch, capping a good performance with his first try in a black shirt.


5) League converts. Less than 48 hours after Sam Burgess attracted criticism for his England Saxons performance, a slightly less high-profile league convert had a quiet and effective game for the Falcons. Lee Smith did everything he needed to, putting in tackles and making distance with the ball, as well as finishing off two tries, the first of which was an excellent team score. Smith did his chances of getting a new Falcons contract no harm at all.



Bonus thought) Josh Furno must surely be in the running for the lead role in the next Conan the Barbarian movie!