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Big Night Kicked Oot

By Monkey1
November 19 2016

  The marketing efforts by Newcastle Falcons to put on a big show were well rewarded, Kingston Park looking busy on a Friday night with a big crowd (by our standards) ready to be entertained.  The supporters, particularly the “Loud & Proud” South Standers were in fine voice, the 16th man to back the team up when needed. What a waste of an opportunity.  

The tone was set with the very first act, Delaney kicking the ball straight out. At that point I looked down at my shoes, stated that it was going to be one of those games & may as well go home now. The team must have felt the same too. What an utterly demoralising start. As a way to rip the heart out of the team before anyone else had even touched the ball it worked a treat.

Within two minutes it got worse. A simple interception as Micky Young tried to get some zip back into the Falcons was taken half way down the pitch, none of our players able to prevent the easy dotting down of a simple try for Exeter, so that the game was an uphill struggle right from the very start.

You can analyse the rest of the game all you like, scrutinise individual performances, and pontificate on how adding this player or that would make a difference, but to be honest you will be wasting your time. The team was gutted from the start, that vital self-belief that drives teams to win even the most closely matched games was snuffed out. If you start games with that sort of mental defeat from the very first kick, you are never going to rise to your best.

We can be thankful for a decent enough start to the season, and with two thirds of the games left to play we still have the chance to finish the season in a style that the supporters deserve. That is only going to happen if the team has confidence, self-belief, and a winning mentality. As has already been mentioned elsewhere, that is never going to happen if the most pivotal player on the pitch doesn’t even seem to have confidence in himself, never mind the team around him.

I am always very reluctant to criticise individual players in what is very much a team game, but it is now obvious that Delaney has lost the confidence of the supporters and of the other fourteen men on the pitch who depend on him to steer the ship. For his own sake, and for the sake of the team around him, he needs to be given some time off.

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Big Night Kicked Oot (IP Logged)
19/11/2016 09:34
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Re: Big Night Kicked Oot
falconbear (IP Logged)
19/11/2016 10:00
I don't think any of us wish Delany any harm but some of the comments on this forum wouldn't do his confidence much good. He's with us for another season. Like Monkey says, give him some time off (playing him in the cup games clearly hasn't worked), sit him down with Walder and the sports psychologists and lets see if we can build him back up.

Re: Big Night Kicked Oot
Exiled Falcon (IP Logged)
19/11/2016 10:53
Good piece Monkey. Delaney for what ever reason is going through a bad pitch and it probably doesn't do the DOR / coaching staff much credit to keep playing him when sadly it seems obvious that everyone (including Delaney himself) has lost confidence in what he is doing. The conundrum however is Joel isn't a premiership fly half (unpalatable to some some but true) and the coaching staff obviously don't rate Willis as a 10, plus Catterick is only just coming back however hadn't been given much of a run out at 10 for quite a while.

While there is a gap between us and the bottom, maybe Delaney should be rested for a couple of weeks, told to go away and recharge his batteries, and someone like Joel, Catterick or Conlon given the fly half role for these weeks in the hope that Delaney comes back refreshed for what is going to be an important phase of the season. Don't think there are any rotund but quality fly halves kicking about this time to help us out unfortunately.

Re: Big Night Kicked Oot
Leipziger (IP Logged)
19/11/2016 14:01
Cheers Monkey. Sounds like one of those nights where it just felt wrong from the kick-off.

Re: Big Night Kicked Oot
alas (IP Logged)
20/11/2016 08:26
Scoring a good try to take an 8-7 lead could have been a turning point, but instead of slotting an easy conversation and dealing with the restart the Falcons let Exeter straight back in, so what should have been 10-7 with momentum turned into 8-14 and a deflated team.

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