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Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle


By Leipziger
March 25 2017

The scoreline tells a big story. But I tried to make some sense of the game and here's what I came up with while on the Tube:

1) Starved of possession

I'd expect the possession stats from today's game to be 70-30 in Quins' favour, at least. Their forwards controlled the breakdown and the scrum, and their backs were largely error-free, so we couldn't get enough ball and when we did, we struggled to create momentum. It's all reflected on the scoreboard.

2) Quins' big game players fire

A few Falcons fans were nervous when Harlequins named a team packed with internationals, and they were proven right. Danny Care had a fantastic game, and Nick Evans, Jamie Roberts, James Horwill and Mat Loomanu were also brilliant. When you're up against so many top players on their game, things will be difficult.

3) No standout performers

On the flipside, I'm struggling to think of any Falcons players who had really good games today. I can think of a few who made some mistakes, but nobody stood out as having played well. I guess when we had such little ball, that's inevitable.

4) Top 6 probably too far away

With the Falcons now 11 points behind Quins in sixth, and only four games of the season left, it looks like our hopes of finishing in the top half of the table this season are over. Never mind, there's still higher places to play for and we'll approach 2017/18 with confidence.

5) Tomfoolery?

I thought referee Tom Foley had a good game today. I couldn't argue with either yellow card, and Foley let the game flow quite well. It didn't feel stop-start. A good show by the man in yellow and we don't often make a point of saying that.

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Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
FalconsRugby.org.uk (IP Logged)
25/03/2017 22:34
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Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
zackary71 (IP Logged)
26/03/2017 09:30
Must say Leipy, when I saw the Quins starting 15 named on Friday, I was expecting a 20+ point defeat. Didn't think it would be that bad though. I think it gives us a reality check as to where the Falcons are right now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:03:26:09:31:25 by zackary71.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
Kwa444 (IP Logged)
26/03/2017 17:45
On the brighter side, we could have spent what Bath have on players and received a similar drubbing.

They are now also out of the top 4.

Even quality players and teams have a bad day....

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
alnwickfalcon (IP Logged)
26/03/2017 22:49
Great assessment as always Leipy.

I agree no one stood out today although we did gift Quins 3 of there Trys. I was alarmed at just how many handling errors there were from us. Serious question need to be asked and answered before Gloucester.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 09:08
I thought we'd struggle because of the gap between games whereas Quins had a lot of match-tight internationals back. Here's hoping we win our two home games and and an away win against Bristol

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
GeordieFalcon (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 09:45
I think we need to avoid any knee jerk reactions aswell.

On the other thread its almost like they want Joel Hodgson hung drawn and quartered!

We got nailed by a quality side with lots of internationals. So did Bath by Saracens! It happens..! Get over it.

We've played well this season. We just need to put that aside, keep going and look forward to the new boys coming in, in the summer.

Lots of people on this site are pushing for Champions cup etc and I think they're deluded!

Ive been very clear I don't think we're ready for that. From perennial bottom dwellers, we're pushing for about 7th spot and that would be a great achievement!!!

Next season we should be looking to try to win the 2nd tier European cup with the side we have...and really look to cement our position in the league next season.

Theres lots of fickle fans on here...who put the falcons on a pedestal when we win, but demand public floggings when we lose!

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
limpopo (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 09:50
All very true GF,but then I suppose all clubs have supporters that fall into the same category of placing their clubs, or players on high pedestals and taking sadistic pleasure in knocking them off.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 09:51
i would say anywhere between 7th and 9th would be fine for this year after previous experiences

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
GeordieFalcon (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 10:16
Quote:
limpopo
All very true GF,but then I suppose all clubs have supporters that fall into the same category of placing their clubs, or players on high pedestals and taking sadistic pleasure in knocking them off.

Very true...

I just think we need to be sensible and level headed. We have seen big improvements this season. Yes theres still lots to work on...but we're moving in the right direction. And the new signings will only help that.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 10:42
I had a look on the Bath board, they are very unhappy, especially with regards to George Ford. A couple of gracious Sarries fans did mention back in Feb the other year that Wasps beat Sarries 64-23 so it happens to all teams now and again

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 10:44
Quote:
GeordieFalcon
I think we need to avoid any knee jerk reactions aswell.
On the other thread its almost like they want Joel Hodgson hung drawn and quartered!

We got nailed by a quality side with lots of internationals. So did Bath by Saracens! It happens..! Get over it.

We've played well this season. We just need to put that aside, keep going and look forward to the new boys coming in, in the summer.

Lots of people on this site are pushing for
Champions cup etc and I think they're deluded!

Ive been very clear I don't think we're ready for that. From perennial bottom dwellers, we're pushing for about 7th spot and that would be a great achievement!!!

Next season we should be looking to try to win the 2nd tier European cup with the side we have...and really look to cement our position in the league next season.

Theres lots of fickle fans on here...who put the falcons on a pedestal when we win, but demand public floggings when we lose!

I don t think anyone has slated Joel, we are just pointing out that he has confidence issues, he's been a massive part of big wins for us this season against saints, Bath and saints away. But he doesn't seem mentally strong enough to compete consistently at this level. If Jonny Wilkinson made a mistake, he would move on, a mistake sits in Joel's head and will eat away at his confidence. It really is heartbreaking to see such a talented player with his head down.

If I where him, I'd be off to see a sports physcologist, I think something like that would really benefit him talking about how to cope with pressure and anxiety at this level.

Everyone knows he can perform well at this level, he just needs to do it consistently and he will be a top fly half.

Aye, that Quins side lost away to Worcester earlier in the season with all their internationals. we where awful, absolutely dreadful, no heart, guys falling off tackles and undisciplined.

I don't think you can say we are not ready Champions cup rugby on a performance like that because we know we are capable of so much better.

We have shown it in away games at saints, at home against bath and wasps.

We competed better at Allianz park than bath did, we where in it for the majority, only lost 21-6

That's my opinion though, championscup would this club and rugby in the North East wonders, it would get more kids interested in seeing superstars up here, more bums on seats and would really put the club on the map I think.

It did Connacht absolute wonders, in the long term. I think after their breakthrough season they made some huge signings and season ticket sales flew up through the roof.

If we finish 7th we can still qualify and will get 2 extra games, 6th is too far.

I think fickle is a bit extreme, I'd say this the most loyal forum of them all, I don't think anyone here expected us to win on Saturday I certainly didn't and it's not like I'm the Quins forum, if they lose one game to a team below them all you see is "KINGSTON OUT THREADS" I'd say this the most passionate and friendliest of all since I enjoy a read through other teams forums.

I just Champions cup now because for all you know you might be in a relegation next season and we may never get an opportunity like this, it's something a lot of the guys at this club deserve as well, loyal hard workers like Juan, Wilson, Welch, Tait, Sinoti, Green all deserve a run with the best given their efforts to us. And I hope they get it.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
GeordieFalcon (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 10:56
But Falc,

On the other thread they're saying he's "not a prem quality player" etc etc.

I beg to differ. I have said many a time he has consistency issues and as you say confidence problems.

These need to be worked on and he'll be a fine premier player.

We're very much a work in progress as a team and we all need to remember that.

As to the Champions cup. Yeah we would do well against some sides...but then I also think we'd get blown off the park by some sides.

I'd prefer to continue the solidification of our team, and prem mid table status and try to get to the final of the 2nd tier cup...

Im not being negative or anything...im a positive guy. I just like where we're heading this season and want to see it slowly continue...too quick might hurt us.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 11:48
Quote:
GeordieFalcon
Theres lots of fickle fans on here...who put the falcons on a pedestal when we win, but demand public floggings when we lose!

Following a sporting team is an emotional ride. When things go well people like to dream of what could be, and when things go badly & those dreams are shattered they kick the cat & rant for a couple of days. It is just the way people are, and without that sort of passion it would be a dull old game.

We move on, face up to the next game, review what has worked for us and what hasn't over recent games, and just try to do the good bits.

I am still happy enough with the season so far. Highs & lows are better than just lows.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
steve1888 (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 12:13
We'll finish this season 8th or 9th which is an improvement and at least we've been hoping for a bit more rather than hoping we don't relegated and some very good signings for next year so I'd say it's been a good season and while we'll possibly get a similar result at Leicester I'll still be heading down to the game with a bit of hope we can get something and for once rightly so and not just because of the drink.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
skip mcskipper (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 12:19
I've lost a bit of contact with the falcons progression lately (work commitments) apart from what I read on here. Is the general feeling that we need another number 10 to challenge joel for the shirt and if so who would it be?

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
GeordieFalcon (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 12:20
I actually fancy our chances down at Welford Road.

We'll have some bite after that result this weekend and we'll give them a good go.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
steve1888 (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 12:28
Leicester have been playing well though but then depends what happens now O Connor is in charge not Mauger (which still seems daft considering they won the cup and are in 4th).

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
GeordieFalcon (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 12:35
Agree, I would have kept Mauger.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
GeordieFalcon (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 12:36
I also noted from that game didn't wee Harry Thacker make 30+ tackles.

Quite impressive.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 12:47
Quote:
GeordieFalcon
But Falc,
On the other thread they're saying he's "not a prem quality player" etc etc.

I beg to differ. I have said many a time he has consistency issues and as you say confidence problems.

These need to be worked on and he'll be a fine premier player.

We're very much a work in progress as a team and we a
ll need to remember that.

As to the Champions cup. Yeah we would do well against some sides...but then I also think we'd get blown off the park by some sides.

I'd prefer to continue the solidification of our team, and prem mid table status and try to get to the final of the 2nd tier cup...

Im not being negative or anything...im a positive guy. I just like where we're heading this season and want to see it slowly continue...too quick might hurt us.

Aye, that's just people's opinions isn't it, people have always said Joel won't be prem standard, he has clearly shown he his, he just needs to be more consistent and know that mistakes happen...

I know, you are on of the most positive posters on this forum, you have nothing but good things to say about the club...

Aye I agree we would generally compete well in a couple of games, but would likely be like Northampton and get a few pastings of a side like Leinster. But it's a learning curve isn't it.

It really effected Sale, but look where they are now, only 4 points behind us, players learn from big experiences and games like champions cup and improve off it, I like what Sale are doing, they are retaining a lot of local boys and building around that, a few class signings and they'll be too 6 next season I reckon. Proper rattled Chiefs at the weekend.

Given our recent efforts against chiefs, saracens and Quins I'll take 8th place. Would be a massive shame if we finish lower than 8th this season though, everyone at the club has worked so hard to make it a good year, we must beat Gloucester!

I think I just want Champions cup rugby because I don't like travelling 50 miles to see a Lyon or Grenoble b team playing, I'd rather travel up to see us clash with a Toulon haha, I'll take 8th place this season. 3 more wins and I'll be really happy! Still going to tigers with some optimising of a historical win.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
dick g (IP Logged)
29/03/2017 06:43
We are in year 4 of Deano's 5 year plan. We are now established as a mid-table team. Next year we can compete for the top half. As for JH, Dave Walder was also a "confidence player". So he is in a good position to help bring Joel on.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
AFalcon24 (IP Logged)
29/03/2017 07:15
I just watched the Premiership highlights last night, one thing I did like after our game was Deano's honesty. smiling smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:03:29:07:16:29 by AFalcon23.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
DOK (IP Logged)
29/03/2017 09:09
Quins man in peace! Always liked Deano. The man knows how to build a team, how to make shrewd buys. Bit by bit, it seems to me, he's putting together a team that is starting to eye the heights of the premiership and say "Why not us?". Maybe not this year, maybe not next, but someday...

Will continue watching with interest.

 
Re: Five thoughts from Harlequins v Newcastle
GeordieFalcon (IP Logged)
29/03/2017 09:21
I agree DOK.

Its slowly starting to take shape. Despite the result against you we are a solid team now who can play some good stuff at times.

The additions next season will only boost that.

And what I like more is that he's not afraid to look EVERYWHERE for players. He'll bring in the big names (Mermoz, DTH, Matavesi), but also the lower division players (Socino, Orr, Lockwood, Graham, Burrows ) and the academy lads (Chick, Witty, Robinson etc)

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