FalconsRugby.org.uk
Start of the season
By Leipziger
October 14 2016

Since we’re at the end of the first block of this season’s Premiership games, I thought I’d take a look at how our first six results compare to expectations and our starts in previous years.

Looking at the Falcons’ first six fixtures, many would have said that Sale, Worcester and Bristol should have been targeted as wins. Anything from Bath away, Leicester at home and Gloucester away would be a bonus.

 

I wouldn’t have said that, because I think every game should be targeted as a win and I’d be disappointed if Richards and pals don’t feel the same way. But I think the above is how most fans feel.

 

So if we’d been offered wins against Sale, Worcester and Bristol, and two losing bonus points from the other three games, would we be happy now? Add into that, that we are a never-expected sixth in the table, twelve points above Bristol and five above Worcester. I think most fans would be. Fair enough we didn't beat Worcester, but the win at Gloucester compensated for that.

 

Look at it objectively: sixth in the table, three wins and two LBPs, and twelve points clear of relegation. So surely we’ve had a decent start to the season.

 

Indeed, it’s been our best first six games since 2007/08, and we haven’t had more points at this stage of a Premiership season for fifteen years:

2001/02: 4 wins, 19 points

2002/03: 1 win, 9 points

2003/04: 2 wins, 12 points

2004/05: 3 wins, 13 points

2005/06: 1 win, 9 points

2006/07: 2 wins, 10 points

2007/08: 3 wins, 14 points

2008/09: 2 wins, 9 points

2009/10: 1 win, 11 points

2010/11: 1 win, 6 points

2011/12: 1 win, 5 points

2013/14: 3 wins, 13 points

2014/15: 2 wins, 9 points

2015/16: 0 wins, 2 points

2016/17: 3 wins, 14 points

 

Of course there was the Bath debacle, but every team in the bottom half of the table has a few stinkers every season. At least one of ours is out of the way and hasn’t hurt our league position too much.

 

Worcester was by all accounts dire, and our attack needs to improve – the Falcons are the only team to have scored fewer than ten tries so far, and we have only scored one point more than rock-bottom Bristol.

 

That said, our defence has been solid, at least in terms of overall points: only Saracens, Bath (both way ahead of everyone else on this stat) and Northampton have conceded fewer than the Falcons so far.

 

Taking all of this on board, I think we should be fairly happy with how the Falcons have done in the first six games of the league season. Of course, there are still sixteen games to come, an we’ll see how they go. But for now, things are looking up.