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Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale

By Leipziger
May 10 2015

The Falcons’ away season ended with one win from eleven games, but they did rescue a losing bonus point from a disappointing performance at the AJ Bell Stadium yesterday.

Some things that come to mind the morning after:


1 Play what’s in front of you. We struggled to get any kind of control in the breakdown for a lot of the first half because of Sale loading rucks and outcompeting our players there. This changed in the second half, but one wonders why nobody seemed to realise it early on and alter the gameplan accordingly. Remember what Lao Tzu wrote: “The rigid and stiff will be broken.

The soft and yielding will overcome.”


2 Leaking like a sieve. The craziest thing about Sale outnumbering the Falcons at the breakdown is that players like Tom Arscott and Josh Beaumont were still able to find gaping holes in our defence. Perhaps there was a lack of organisation there, but I think our high line was exposed by Sale’s speed and again we couldn’t adjust to counter that. Our attack has improved immensely this season but I have to point out again that the defence is no better, and that has to change if we are going to get anywhere.


3 Hammering again. Simon Hammersley showed glimpses of his attacking skills again yesterday, and his pace helped put the Falcons on the front foot on occasions. His tackling and strength need improving, as they tend to in youngsters, and the trick for Hammers and the coaches is to do that without compromising his speed. A difficult balance perhaps but if worked right, he has the potential to be a super player.


4 Decisions, decisions. The Falcons had Sale on the back foot early in the second half and if Ruki Tipuna had tapped a five-metre penalty to Kane Thompson, with Kieran Brookes to back him up, then we could have scored a try to get back into the game from 24-11 down. 24-14 is a bit better but we needed a try. I hear that it wasn’t as clear-cut as Will Welch going for the posts, so don’t blame him for that. However, late on when chasing a winning try, the Falcons sent a penalty in the 22 to the corner, and lost the throw. On a day when the lineouts didn’t function well, surely a scrum or tap would have been more sensible?


5 Slipping through the net. Whatever the reasons for Josh Beaumont never making it at the Falcons and now becoming a Premiership star at Sale, he is definitely one that we might regret not keeping. Another great game at number eight yesterday from the man with one of the most famous surnames in English rugby, the more I see and hear of this guy, the more I like him.


Bonus thought: relative strength. When warming up behind the goal, Will ‘Big Will’ Witty picked up Andy Tuilagi with relative ease, but JP Orlandi struggled to get Alex more than 40cm off the ground. I’m not sure if the result would have been the same had the Tuilagis been swapped, but it was a good demonstration of the laws of physics.


One-word ratings:

S Hammersley – inconsistent, 6

A Tait – strong, 6

A Powell – try, 7

JP Socino – lively, 7

S Sinoti – suffocated, 6

R Clegg – disappointing, 6

R Tipuna – restricted, 6

R Vickers – moving, 6

S Lawson – quiet, 6

K Brookes – driving, 7

C Green – powerful, 8

K Thompson – ignored, 6

M Wilson – consistent, 7

W Welch – indecisive, 6

A Hogg – silent, 6

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Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale (IP Logged)
10/05/2015 09:34
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Re: Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
10/05/2015 12:51
We come back to the same old topic yet again. Your points 2 (Not adapting to the breakdown) and 4 (a couple of incomprehensible decisions) indicate that we do not have a captain capable of thinking the game through, and as a result the team often seems rudderless.

I hope I am not saying the same thing 12 months from now.

Re: Five thoughts from Newcastle v Sale
nursepete (IP Logged)
11/05/2015 11:11
Just a side point - why did only 3 players come over to the fans at the end of the match?
Socino and Mark Wilson went to their families in the main stand but only Will Welch Adam Powell and Rory Clegg came remotely near the stand behind the posts, i think that stinks personally and think all players should come over and thank the fans for travelling to watch them.
Moan over!

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