Considerations on the morning after the Falcons’ high-scoring 48-29 win over Lyon.
1) Midfield combinations. Yesterday was another chance for Joel Hodgson and Juan Pablo Socino to team up in the 10-12 axis and they showed again that they can be a potent combination. Hodgson’s speed and the direction of his running allows him to hit JP at pace, so he can break the line and put us onto the front foot. Funnily enough, when Socino was previously at his best for the Falcons he was also outside an attacking fly-half in Tom Catterick – the same just wasn’t happening with Mike Delany and Craig Willis.
2) Another promising winger. I think yesterday was the first time I’ve seen Dan Marshall play and he had a good game out on the right wing, showing speed and trickery. If Marcus Watson does leave, then Marshall could get more game time and he certainly looks to have the potential to be a good player for us.
3) Try of the season. There were a few good tries from the Falcons yesterday, but the first will surely be a contender for our try of the season. Zach Kibirige hacking forward on a rare start and popping the ball to JP Socino, who then beat the defence from 30 metres. Brilliant stuff.
4) Switching off. I’m not sure if this “the team switched off” thing is real, as it’s unlikely that all 15 players could lose concentration at once, but maybe a few can and it showed at times yesterday. Lyon’s last try, which gave them a potentially-vital bonus point, saw them almost walk through the Falcons’ defence. It’s frustrating in terms of Europe as they remain a point ahead of us in the group table. Of course, with the Falcons on ten points and there already being three second-placed teams on 13, qualification isn’t looking too likely.
5) Flat crowd. Yesterday’s official attendance was around 3,500, and though as always these figures are inflated by absent ticketholders, the ground felt quite empty to me, and there wasn’t a lot of atmosphere. I thought we might have got a bigger crowd with it being a reasonable weather day and the team doing well this season, but it didn’t happen. There wasn’t a lot of noise compared to a league game, or even other games I’ve been to with this size of crowd: maybe because the Falcons raced into an unassailable lead early on. I’m sure against Wasps it will be different – though not as good as it might have been with Newcastle United now at home on the same night.
Superb write up Lepi, I love writing 5 thoughts myself but had to leave the game around the 60 minute mark yesterday as the flue done me in...
Agree with all of the above, I thought Joel and Socino paired up really well again, I saw Socino miss a few tackles yesterday and make a few mistakes, but the go forward he is giving us at the minute is phenomenal.
Marshall does look like a good prospect indeed, but imo he needs to bulk up a bit, mind you showed some good footwork and speed yesterday and will just get better with more game time.
On the crowd and attendance, I think 3,500 is reasonable for challenge cup rugby at Newcastle. It's just not that popular of a tournament really and never has attracted big crowds, we played brive at KP 3 seasons ago when we had the grass pitch and only got 2,200 or something for that one or something like that. I think Connacht got around 3,500 when we went to their place last season, mind you their ground is quite small. The atmosphere is always ten times better for premiership games, the fans really get up for it and get behind the team. I was in the south stand yesterday and when ever I'm in there I love to get a chant going however yesterday I didn't feel up to cheering to much with the dreaded man flue! The drive home was awful. Back to the ground, although only 3,500 in attendance you would of thought the crowd would of made a bit more noise, unfortunately sometimes people just aren't up for it, but I have to say the atmosphere is always cracking for premiership games.
And lastly on the last try we conceded which I didn't see because I left early, it sounds rather guttering to concede that try and give them an extra point, how ever some of the guys in the team yesterday haven't been playing much rugby at all, likes of agulla, Orr, Ryan, Marshall and kibirige haven't had many opportunities do these guys will be more likely to making mistakes and lapses of concentration.
A not on seeing Tai tufiua back at KP yesterday.... thought he put in some massive hits, still looks a rather big force.
Cheers Leipy.I particularly like your last bonus thought, all the best for the festive season to you too.
As for the crowd, well I had Man Flu, not bad but enough to decide that it wasn't sensible to stand in the cold for just a cup game. How we fare in the Prem this season really is so important that I think the just a cup game factor may be worse than usual. If the supporters can pile it on for Prem games which they have done so magnificently this season, then a quiet cup game or two is a small price to pay.
Good to hear Hodgson continues to impress. It can only do him good to get some confidence building games under his belt. By Easter we may finally find out what he can do but he does need that run of games to sharpen his game properly.
Sowery is a very good player. He will be first choice next season. And he has some serious pace!
Ive seen Marshall a few times and yes he looks another prospect.
I'd like to see young Zac really start to force a run for a starting shirt. He's had bad injuries etc, but if he's back fit and ready...he needs to start making a claim. Seems to have been a round a few years now, and he needs to make up for lost time.
I still believe in Hodgson and Catterick we have players that mean we don't need to go out and spend Ł400k+ on a big name 10.
GeordieFalcon Sowery is a very good player. He will be first choice next season. And he has some serious pace!
Scott Lawson is signed up until 2018 and I think he's still fantastic for us. We'll have to see how Kyle cooper gets on as well, he could well be a huge force for us, he's a saffa so he'll love the scrum and big carries. Can't wait till he's fit.
In the pre season games I didn't notice Sowrey at all, but I think he's just got better and better with more game time, has a great work rate and loves to carry all over the pitch. As Worcester fans said, he could be a very good signing indeed if he gets the opportunities.
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