FalconsRugby.org.uk
The state of play and the outlook
By Leipziger
January 18 2017


Top half in 2002

13 might be unlucky for some but, for the Falcons, we have seen by far our 13-game run into a season since promotion.

The Falcons have already won more matches than in any of the last three seasons, and have exceeded the total points gained in 2015/16 and 2014/15. We are only five points off beating 2014/15’s final total of 34 points.

 

But if we look further back, then how does our first half-and-a-bit of the season compare to past successful seasons? And what can we look forward to in May?

 

Well, since sights at Kingston Park are firmly set on first top-half finish since 2002, I compared our run this season to 2000/01 and 2001/02, Rob Andrew’s team finishing sixth in the Premiership in both years.

 

2000/01: 6 wins, 30 points (final totals: 11 wins, 57 points)

2001/02: 7 wins, 32 points (final totals: 12 wins, 56 points)

 

2013/14: 3 wins, 14 points (final totals: 3 wins, 22 points)

2014/15: 4 wins, 21 points (final totals: 5 wins, 34 points)

2015/16: 4 wins, 20 points (final totals: 5 wins, 27 points)

2016/17: 6 wins, 29 points

 

So our records aren’t too different. We have the same amount of wins as in 2000/01, and just a point fewer. One win (and draw) fewer than in 2001/02, but more bonus points.

 

Is beating 56 or 57 points a reasonable target for this season? Well, at the start of 2016/17 I thought 45 was a decent target, in the 50s would be fantastic. With more than a third of the season to go, on average we should be aiming towards 50.

 

The Falcons’ remaining league fixtures are:

Sale (A)

Northampton (H)

Exeter (A)

Saracens (H)

Harlequins (A)

Gloucester (H)

Leicester (A)

Worcester (H)

Bristol (A)

 

The ones I’ve highlighted in bold are games we might specially target as wins at the moment, though of course we could also easily lose all of them (such is the unpredictability in Falconsland). Lets say we won four of those games, that’s another sixteen points. If the Falcons picked up, say, five bonus points in our remaining nine games, that would return a total of 50 points for the season – our highest number since 2001/02, surely making 2016/17 a success in even the most pessimistic fan’s mind.

 

What would 50 points mean for our league position? Well, looking at past tables it would put a team between 6th and 9th depending on other clubs’ performances, but on average, 8th could be expected. I think most fans would have accepted 8th or above back in September.

 

So, to wrap that all up, what I’m saying is that if the Falcons keep up their form, we should expect to reach our highest Premiership points total for more than a decade, and break out of the league’s bottom two places. Happy days.