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Bedford Blues v Falcons 9/11/19 Teams Up

By Falcons
November 8 2019

Newcastle Falcons team to face Bedford Blues (Saturday, 3.30pm, Goldington Road, live on Sky Sports)

George McGuigan makes his first competitive appearance of the season for Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when the Greene King IPA Championship leaders take their unbeaten record to Bedford Blues.

The 3.30pm kick-off will be televised live on Sky Sports, McGuigan making his league return from summer knee surgery after scoring a first-half hat-trick for the Falcons XV against Stirling County in last weekend’s comeback game.

Full Offy Preview Here



Newcastle Falcons:

15 Tom Arscott, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Michael Young (co-captain), 1 Sam Lockwood, 2 George McGuigan (co-captain), 3 Rodney Ah You, 4 Darren Barry, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Callum Chick, 7 John Hardie, 8 Nemani Nagusa,

Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire,  17 Trevor Davison, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Will Welch, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Ben Stevenson


Bedford Blues: 15 Ali Crossdale, 14 Pat Tapley, 13 Ed Coulson, 12 Lewis Robling, 11 Ryan Hutler, 10 Will Hooley, 9 Grayson Hart, 1 Sean McCarthy (captain), 2 Robbie Smith, 3 Henry Paul, 4 Jordan Onojaife, 5 Will Carrick Smith, 6 Oli Curry, 7 Joe Atkinson, 8 Dan Temm

Replacements:16 Jacob Fields, 17 Joe Wrafter, 18 Andrew Boye, 19 Huw Worthington, 20 Josh Buggea, 21 James Lennon, 22 Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas, 23 Dean Adamson

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe

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Bedford Blues v Falcons 9/11/19 Teams Up
Discussion started by , 08/11/2019 12:40
08/11/2019 12:40
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Bedlington Lad
08/11/2019 12:52
Looks a decent side, happy to see Dom Waldouck get a run out

08/11/2019 13:33
i have nothing against Dom, but why is he starting when we have the likes of Tom Penny, Charlie Wilson, Ben Stevenson (On the bench), the Matavesi brothers...etc.

Arent we supposed to be using this season to really build for getting back in the prem ....and STAYING there?

Falc Dancer
08/11/2019 13:42
Rotation and injuries I guess
A decent team again

Kingston Parker
08/11/2019 14:10
Dan Temm playing for them against his old team?

08/11/2019 14:12
i have nothing against Dom, but why is he starting when we have the likes of Tom Penny, Charlie Wilson, Ben Stevenson (On the bench), the Matavesi brothers...etc.
Arent we supposed to be using this season to really build for getting back in the prem ....and STAYING there?

This is what many of us feared when it was announced Deano and the coaching staff were staying on. Dom Waldouck is a great guy, an experienced professional. But if the plan is for him to be getting game time when weíre (hopefully) back in the Prem then weíre stuffed.
Read Deanoís comments today. Already a pack full of excuses about our poor away performances.

Ben Stevenson started the season looking great, got shoved to the wing, kept scoring, and then has been shoved to the bench.

Where would people rather young players like Cam N-K get their first 10 games experience- the Championship, learning and building into an exciting game plan, or in the Premiership in the middle of a relegation battle (or more likely knowing Deano, not get experience in the Championship or Premiership, and then maybe considered when we get relegated again)

Falc Dancer
08/11/2019 14:49
Kingston Parker
Dan Temm playing for them against his old team?

Coulson at 13 also spent time on our books although he didnít play I believe

Falc Dancer
08/11/2019 14:52
i have nothing against Dom, but why is he starting when we have the likes of Tom Penny, Charlie Wilson, Ben Stevenson (On the bench), the Matavesi brothers...etc.
Arent we supposed to be using this season to really build for getting back in the prem ....and STAYING there?

This is what many of us feared when it was announced Deano and the coaching staff were staying on. Dom Waldouck is a great guy, an experienced professional. But if the plan is for him to be getting game time when weíre (hopefully) back in the Prem then weíre stuffed.
Read Deanoís comments today. Already a pack full of excuses about our poor away performances.

Ben Stevenson started the season looking great, got shoved to the wing, kept scoring, and then has been shoved to the bench.

Where would people rather young players like Cam N-K get their first 10 games experience- the Championship, learning and building into an exciting game plan, or in the Premiership in the middle of a relegation battle (or more likely knowing Deano, not get experience in the Championship or Premiership, and then maybe considered when we get relegated again)

Dean canít win with some people
Heís been rotating his squad all season giving plenty of players opportunities

08/11/2019 17:03
Nice to see McGuigan back, I canít figure out some of the decisions and agree with Telfs123 . To my mind the likes of Waldouck being the answer in 2020/2021 seem less likely than Penny / Stevenson.
That was very much my point re Flood at 12 last week. I do not wish to denigrate either of those players, my only point is that they are the past as opposed to the future. I really believe that in the present we will be good enough at Bedford either way so I would gamble on the future.
But then I am just a bloke who watches on a weekend. Deano is not an idiot and must get promotion this year it is a pressurised position.
I have seen Northampton prosper from gambling on younger backs. I am not convinced they are superior to our younger backs. I would love to see us give them their heads but then it isnít my careee.

08/11/2019 19:36
I understand the views about experience v the future. But I would think the team need to keep winning until we're in a good position with a bit of daylight between us and the rest. Then start to experiment. I'm sure that's how Irish did it last year.

Falc Dancer
08/11/2019 19:46
With our first choice centres (Matavesi & Williams) both unavailable we are going to have to use the full squad.
Blamire, Penny, Wacokecoke, Montgomery, Stevenson have all had game time in the first team this season
Others such as Nordi-Kelemeti have played in the cup/pre season games as well as the Scottish games. Itís a long season, there will be plenty opportunity for game time for our younger players but not at the expense of winning games
Bedford are an experienced & established championship side. Can we afford to throw in young players in? Or do we go with a mix of youth & experience?
I think Deans selection is a good choice.

dick g
08/11/2019 22:44
This is not about the future. It is about now. As an earlier poster observed, we can begin to prepare a side for our return to Prem Rugby once our promotion appears more certain and even then proceed with care. But I do not presume to give Deano any egg sucking lessons.

09/11/2019 09:45
Good to see Sam Lockwood back he hasnít had much first team exposure so far this season , it could be a false illusion but he appears to have lost weight.

09/11/2019 13:16
Just noticed anyone who has Sky but not Sky Sports can watch Falcons on Sky Sports Mix channel 145 which is available to all Sky subscribers at no extra cost , England v France women's rugby on prior to Falcons game.

09/11/2019 14:19
Channel 510/520 for Virgin subscribers

09/11/2019 16:20
Absolutely terrible

09/11/2019 16:21
Absolutely terrible
Not as good as that

09/11/2019 16:24
In case anyone is wondering, we look dire. I think we tried to play through phases twice in the whole half.
And otherwise itís been box kick after box kick. Or get penalised. Or drop the ball.

Is there a single person on this board who thinks our coaching staff are adequate?

Shall we play Deano excuse guessing? Iím going for a reference to ďnot playing the conditionsĒ and another to ďgoing off the game planĒ and maybe a cheeky ďdidnít get the rub of the green with some decisionsĒ.

09/11/2019 16:28
Toby needs hooking at half time

09/11/2019 16:31
Agreed re Toby. The way he's playing it'll be red card and penalty try conceded.

09/11/2019 16:32
Toby should be off with a red card, penalty count is terrible and itís awful to watch. If anyone is at the ground, is the slope as bad as they are making out on tv? Clearly to box kicking isnít working but back to standard Michael Young where we kick regardless. Scrums and like ours poor too. Hopefully a good rocket at half time and we sneak an unworthy win.

09/11/2019 16:33
Why can't Falcons line out function like Bedford's. Their's near perfect. Falcons shocking

09/11/2019 16:35
Having spent many years watching the Blues I can confirm the slope is significant. Always makes a difference playing down it

09/11/2019 16:42
Cheers as it isnít so apparent on tv. Obviously helping us at the moment

09/11/2019 17:23
Embarrassingly, pathetically bad.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:11:09:17:28:00 by telfs123.

09/11/2019 17:32
What were you expecting in those conditions? In the end we controlled the game well. Moves of more than 1 pass would have been fool hardy.

I thought Arscott had an excellent match.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:11:09:17:33:28 by BedfordFalcon.

09/11/2019 17:37
Absolutely terrible but still walk away with a win and points. Iím sure we can pick fault with our lads but a win is a win and just enough is enough. Hope the guys have a safe journey home in the rubbish weather

09/11/2019 17:46
I guess you can say we played the conditions. At least in the second half, however the basic errors were awful.
5 from 5 but I was hoping to see us execute rugby this year. Losing scrums and line outs frequently, really in this league!
I remain underwhelmed and have a negative view of the experienced former premier standard players. I think the younger players are better and the team is picked on reputation. Arscott had a really solid game.
Coventry are second in the league so the team will be picked on age again next week.

09/11/2019 17:57
Awful conditions. Not sure many teams would be able to play champagne rugby that some people would have crazily expected to be played in that. Although I do think second half we could have broken Bedford down more but thatís credit to the opposition.

Coaching staff leading up to the game probably would have seen the forecast and weather conditions and picked the team accordingly. Doubt our young backs would have gained much from playing in that. Someone experienced like Dom far more sensible option.

Agree re Arscott ..... heís doing miles better then last season , do his confidence a world of good this solid run of games!

09/11/2019 18:09
What I expected today: a team which had lots of experienced players selected in it having a clue how to play wet conditions, using their quality to dominate in the forwards against a team that is 11th in the league, and then backs with the basic skills to finish opportunities when they arise. No one wanted magic. We just wanted a tactically astute team.

What we got: An utterly clueless first half, a lineout that couldnít function, a scrum that repeatedly was disrupted, and endless box kicks that were far too long, poorly timed and mostly useless. Horrendous basic skills.

Although to be fair, what do we expect? At no point since Deano took over has our coaching staff shown any ability to come up with good tactics. We have never developed a good, sustainable game plans. Weíve never had a plan A or a plan B for when conditions change or plan A doesnít work. In 8 years, young players have been repeatedly mismanaged and left. Weíve been relegated. We had one good season, thatís it. He has always taken the average veteran over the promising youngster. He has always given a pack of excuses.

Some people seem to be happy for us just to be promoted. Which quite frankly we will likely do regardless of the game plan. And I get that weíre winning and that covers up a lot of the blemishes. But the simple thing is that we had one season to develop a style of play that will give us a chance of keeping our place in the Prem next year. Weíre 5 games in and weíre no closer to that. In fact, weíre probably further away.

The genuinely horrifying thing is that Deano seems to think the tactics and players that got us relegated last season are the way forward. There is zero excitement around the club right now.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:11:09:18:12:33 by telfs123.

Wensleydale Falcon
09/11/2019 18:14
Astonished at some of the comments on here.l yet again. Agreed it wasnít a great watch but yet again we dug in and ground out another very important win. I really donít get what some supporters (I use the word supporters loosely) expect.
Bedford are a tough well drilled team and their ground is extremely difficult to play on, add the absolutely atrocious conditions and it was never going to be easy.
Penalty count was shocking 1st half but defensively excellent and to be fair that where the game was won.
Another win...job done!!

09/11/2019 18:31
Horrific to watch but that has been the case for the last 12 months as it has been that long since i have seen a good performance (apart from individual brilliance from Radwan and Kibirige) from the main Falcons team. Still no leadership, poor coaching and still no quality, structure or plan. As for leadership on field then Young and McGuigan are not captains. I didn't think Welch was great as captain over the last few years but please reinstate him immediately as all is forgiven!

There is a massive gulf between the Premiership and Championship and in all aspects but we seem to be now much nearer to the Championship than the Premiership (and 18 months ago we were 4th in the Premiership!).

If we somehow do get promoted even though we are currently undefeated then we need at least 20+ Premiership quality players plus a full wardrobe of coaching staff to be able to compete and try to survive.

This is the worst i have ever seen Newcastle. I thought it couldn't be much worse than last year but it is and they are winning!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019:11:09:18:33:24 by falcons_fan.

dick g
09/11/2019 19:06
Some of the reactions in this thread are extraordinary. My problem is my unfortunate optimism. A poor game in lousy conditions against a side playing a cup final. We won and opened our lead at the top. The Sky commentators appear to have more confidence in the Falcons rapid return to the Prem than some of our faithful.

By the way, did you hear Toby Flood explaining that conditions were so bad he felt like building an Ark? I wonder if he knows I dubbed him Noah when he first played for us.

09/11/2019 19:52
I thought a man Falcons let go Daniel Temm was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch today and although the precedence is to award the man of the match to a player from the winning side I was scratching my head when Morris announced Michael Young and wondered if he had been watching the same game as me.

09/11/2019 20:01
Iíd have loved to have seen any Prem team play Bedford in those conditions today. I donít think the game would have been much difference. Tactics wise spot on - going up Everest first half damage limitation (did well to leak just 3 points) however pen count was very very stupid and accuracy levels quite low. Second half was boot the ball into oppo 22 and let them play out from there - would anyone care to suggest what other tactics would have been wise in the monsoon? Territory stats second half miles in our favour .......

Also have to remember Dean will be stuck with majority of this squad for next year ...... most players donít sign 1 year deals they sign 2 or more so first season back heíll have to be able to use all the players hence why there is quite a lot of squad rotation to get everyone embedded and squared alway.

No oil painting today and Iíll look at it for what it is. Which is a W.

09/11/2019 20:42
Optimistic Falcons supporters at the beginning of last season thought we would be OK - where did optimism get us?
Conditions weren't good but we were terrible first half and outplayed by Bedford, similar to last week against Jersey until we ran in some tries second half

09/11/2019 21:02
Same optimism that got us to 4th the season before I suppose?

Bedford applied the same tactics as what we did today. Do not get caught in possession in your own half. And by the end of two halves of rugby (not one) we had outscored them.

Beford never really looked threatening ball in hand as we didnít either. They put up solid D and disrupted our ball Very well and thatís about it. Nothing to write home about.

Anyway King of the North Mark Wilson is back next season. He can take on money bags Saracens on his own.

Falc Dancer
09/11/2019 21:52
Another win at a difficult away venue in awful conditions
If people expected 4 tries & 40 points on the board today think again
Line out again has its issues
Sky making a lot of noise about possible Flood contact with the shoulder late in the first half but absolutely nothing said about the shoulder to Waldoucks head that ended his afternoon early
Welch made a big impact
Penalty count was horrendous

We need to improve but at least we are picking up wins

09/11/2019 23:34
That first half performance was not acceptable even taking the conditions into account. We gave away 12 penalties. We lost our own line out and scrum more than once. We dropped the ball repeatedly.
It was probably good that we kicked the ball away so much as otherwise we would have turned it over closer to our own line
Credit is due for a better second half but gross stupidity cost us first half rather than poor tactics

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:11:09:23:35:22 by RiponFalcon.

10/11/2019 01:18
Im afraid i havent seen one game this season that has reassured me that we are moving in the right direction after the rubbish of last season.

The weather is irrelevant, you play to it. Good premiership sides do that. We seemingly play the same tactics regardless of conditions.

The lineout coach also needs to start sorting that out..rather than his basketball rubbish at the start of every game.

There really isnt much point getting promoted if we play like this.

We'll be back down again straight away.

10/11/2019 01:32
dick g
The Sky commentators appear to have more confidence in the Falcons rapid return to the Prem than some of our faithful.

No Dick...your not getting it.

We all expect promotion this season....our concerns are that we the performances are so bad that we'll be relegated straight away again if we dont develop. .which is currently not showing any sign of happening!!!

10/11/2019 09:13
I don't want us to be the BIG BOYS who have come down from the premiership and score 100 points against every team - but what I do want is signs that we would be competitive against the premiership cheetaz if we ever do get promoted, without having to buy a whole new squad of players

dick g
10/11/2019 09:17
dick g
The Sky commentators appear to have more confidence in the Falcons rapid return to the Prem than some of our faithful.

No Dick...your not getting it.

We all expect promotion this season....our concerns are that we the performances are so bad that we'll be relegated straight away again if we dont develop. .which is currently not showing any sign of happening!!!

Believe me, I do know where the critics are coming from. But we need to wait until the recruiting season to know what kind of side we could be back in the Prem.

Until then I offer my final observation with apologies to John Keats.

A game that is won
Is a joy for ever.
That is all you know on earth
And all you need to know.

22 points out of a possible 25. That's where I'm coming from.

10/11/2019 09:54
Well given the current issues in the premiership maybe we might get Itoje and Farrell at the end of the season as they jump ship from a relegated Saracens !!!
I kinda get the feeling the club and coaching staff know what they are doing. This season was never going to be pretty. I think Ďworkmanlikeí is the phrase they use. Each match is a dog fight but as long as we keep registering 4-5 points each week I donít think we can complain on here.
You can only play whatís infront of you and poorer (no offence intended to the other great teams in the championship) teams will make you lower your output.
Iím just expecting/hoping to endure 3 months more of ugly but effective rugby then look forward to new signing being announced once a table topping position is confirmed .
Yes we loved the rugby we played to end up 4th but thatís gone. The players are gone, we donít have the cash and the teams we are playing against wonít allow it given their game plans. We can moan about it all day long and look back fondly but it ainít going to help the current team in the current predicament.

10/11/2019 11:05
In 2012/13 I followed the Falcons pretty much everywhere in the Championship; new grounds, new clubs to visit, etc . Okay, so we'd been relegated but it was the beginning of a new and exciting era. Semore had taken the club reins and the Deano was newly in charge of rugby. Early in the season, we were putting 50 points a game on our opposition.

By the latter stages of the season we were down to 20/30 points a game, playing lateral rugby with little theme and losing at home to Bristol. We just squeaked past Leeds in the second leg of the play off semi final, after having lost the first leg away, before beating Bedford to gain promotion on a tense but happy night at Kingston Park.

Hurts to say it, but five years later we are no better off, our style of play belongs to a long gone era. We should get promoted because of our resources and play offs no longer being involved, but oh how I long for some freshness and enthusiasm in the approach of our DOR and his coaching team.

10/11/2019 11:27
The pitch at Goldington road features a dip in the eastern corner which causes difficulties to visiting teams who struggle to read the surface. Furthermore, there is a gradient again going down from west to east.

BT sport said the pitch gradient was something like 3-5degrees.

I am happy with the win especially under the conditions and 'not level playing field' winking smiley

Exiled Falcon
10/11/2019 11:50
I donít think there is any doubt we will get promoted as we have better players and more resources than everyone else plus an experienced coaching team. Nothing so far has changed my mind and we will still go up as champions, and probably comfortably.

At the beginning of the season I said I donít mind how many points we win the league by as long as we have prepared a load of players for life in the Premiership, especially young EQP players. Not really sure how well that is going tbh but it is still early in the season. I think we should maybe wait another 4 or 5 games before we start either saying Deano has got it spot on or horribly wrong.

10/11/2019 14:33
'I am happy with the win especially under the conditions and 'not level playing field' '

Most amusing!

Wensleydale Falcon
10/11/2019 15:03
After finishing 4th Deano had his budget cut by £1 million for the following season (that was said on sky yesterday) thatís a huge cut and and as we know Semore is committed to making the club self sufficient for its long term sustainability. The management have to work within their budget and obviously creates some difficulty in recruitment.

I personally, all things considered will quite happily take 5 league wins on the trot.

10/11/2019 15:23
Canít really do any better than win every game you play?
Also itís kinda a bit arrogant to think we should hammer the other teams in the league as they put in good performances against at us and have some good talent.
We finnished rock bottom of the premiership last year and then saw a number of good players leave over the summer. Iím very happy with 5 from 5

10/11/2019 15:55
A few very baffling comments on here.

People talking about getting through this season then bringing in signings. That is the proven way to get relegated again. Also, no stars are coming. We are all aware Semore will not be splashing the cash to keep with his ambition to make him sustainable.
What is therefore baffling about that is the cheapest way to go forward is obviously to use your academy players more, develop them. Not sign a bunch of bang avergae journeymen.

People saying dont know how you can do better than 5/5, saying it is arrogant to want to be thrashing teams. I don't mind about thrasing teams. What most of us care about is developing a game plan that long term could bring success, as well as being entertaining to watch. If we create a Premiership quality game plan with Prem quality players, which is what we intend to be in a years time, by default you'll most likely put big scores on most Champ teams.

Instead we're still playing journeymen. We're still playing the same boring@#$%&from 8 years ago. We haven't moved forwards. And I don't believe we have the coaching staff to ever do that. Look at Deano's current record from our academy. It's pretty dire. Who have we really brought through?

15: Hammersly- average FB, now left.
Wing: Radwan- great potential, but no one would be suprised if he ended up leaving. Kibirige- potential superstar, underplayed and left.
Centre: Harris- average 13, now left. Wacokecoke- just being played. Stevenson- who knows. Seems to be becoming a wing. Wilson- never gets game time.
Fly-half: Willis- left.
Scrum-half: Nada. Cam N-K can barely get a minute

Prop- Brocklebank- promising, but does he really count as academy
Hooker- McGuigan- left and came back, average. Blamire- could barely get a look in
Lock- Robinson- decent 2nd row, unfortunate injury problems. Young/Witty/Davidson- all bags of potential, all gone.
Back Row- Wilson- already breaking through when Deano arrived. Chick- never kicked on from early potential.

We're in season 8 and we haven't really had one player from the academy where we could say "Yep, that's a big success, coaching team have taken a talented player and maximised his potential".

10/11/2019 16:28
This is where ring fencing would be a god send for us Falcons fans. Hard for us to play academy players on the regular when we donít have the financial clout as the rest of the league to fill the rest of the roster with excellent prem players. Putting youngsters in a team with average prem players will not work.

Mcguigan to be fair was probs one of our better performers last year. Iím gutted to have lost Young and Witty alongside Zach , I think theyíll kick on to become good solid prem players.

Exiled Falcon
10/11/2019 16:53
Pretty good summation Telfs. If nothing else this season should be about preparing players for next season and giving them plenty of game time. Donít want to see us signing a pile of players over the summer, that is a bit of a recipe for disaster, plus a totally wasted opportunity.

Ring fencing Barry, noooooo!!!

10/11/2019 17:18
We wonít get a host of signings E Falcon. It goes on a two year cycle with contracts etc. We will get players who are available and will add something alongside fitting into our strict budget.

As much as I love promotion and relegation for a club like us who have the lowest spending power it makes total sense for us to support it! Imagine if we could play more academy players and instead of having to spread our budget thin we can get more bang for our buck. Saying that the Prem this season will be very interesting relegation wise now .........

10/11/2019 17:22
'I am happy with the win especially under the conditions and 'not level playing field' '
Most amusing!

I take it you are being sarcastic here trummy200, Just trying to lighten the tone a bit.

And after all just like other clubs Falcons did not have a level playing field in the premiership.

BUT on Saturday the playing field was def., not leveleye rolling smiley

10/11/2019 17:41
No- I had a good chuckle about 'not a level playing field' It just caught my sense of humour.
Watching on the laptop it was obvious that there is a bit if a slope and dip to that far corner. I was basically applauding your excellent turn of phase.
A forum misunderstanding!

10/11/2019 18:28
oh ok trummy200 cheers smileys with beer

10/11/2019 18:35
Im happy we've won our games...but i really want to see more. And that doesnt need superstars.

Several seasons ago when we were allowed to play, we were playing some of the most attacking rugby in the prem. Getting praise from all over.

Now you cant play that all the time, you need the basics aswell...but these days we play the mosr boring turgid style of rugby. Why has he completely thrown away what they were doing so well.

Even some Leicester pals of mine watched the game, called me and said by that was worse than amateur standard regardless of the conditions. And they were right.

We have very talented players...but thw coaching and style is clearly the issue.
We have the players to play a very dynamic, fast paced attacking style, with the wingers to finish opportunities, yet we are making them go against their natural instincts and play a restrained shackled style.

If the coaching team expect to play like this and do well next season then they're watching different games to me.

10/11/2019 19:24
I am not enjoying this season at all. There will, for sure, be some tough encounters against motivated championship teams and five wins from five is difficult to argue with.

However, I expected us to play some decent rugby and different to what we have endured from our DOR and coaching staff for years. Nothing changes.

We must have a significant advantage over other championship teams with the size of our coaching team but I donít think any of them are any good. Defence, attack, scrum and line out, none of which function particularly well. If we didnít have a line out coach we couldnít do any worse. Our game plans, such as they are, are exasperating.

All of the above is down to Richards. Even with a restricted budget we should be able to produce well-coached teams but are often out-thought by other clubs.

I expected a whole lot better from us in the championship and our inability to take bonus pointsí wins could cost us. Even five from five with no losses leaves us only three points ahead of second place. Early days, of course, but I am just not excited about going to watch us play.

If this is what is going to be served up all season, and is likely with our coaches and management, it will leave us seriously underprepared for a return to the premiership - if we get there.

Bedlington Lad
11/11/2019 08:10
We won another game in tough conditions,I'll take it.
If you watched the prem highlights of any teams playing in the rain no game looked very good.
I wouldn't be averse to bringing in an attack coach to reduce the burden on Dave Walder, but we have to cut our coat according to our cloth. I'll think about next season when I know we're promoted.

Wensleydale Falcon
11/11/2019 09:55
Completely agree BL, and if anyone watched Exeter v Bristol yesterday there were numerous handling errors by both teams in what were described as perfect conditions.
At present we are doing what is required by executing well our game management and the 2nd half on Saturday was a prime example...not pretty and a hard watch i completely agree but none the less it was effective and got the required result.
I would rather win ugly than lose trying to play exhibition rugby!
When the weather conditions allow i believe that we will then be more expansive and show some good quality flowing rugby.
The main learning point for me when we last got relegated was the importance of quality in squad depth. once again we have this with numerous guys still to be involved and when the injuries kick in for the clubs around us this is where (hopefully) we will benefit and kick on.

11/11/2019 10:19
We were lucky that in the first half they consistently went for the corner, if they had knocked over a few relatively easy kicks (especially compared to their 2nd score) then we'd have been in trouble. The fact we escaped only through bad decisions on their part is worrying but we won, are top and looking like we'll go up.

I do worry about next season as it's clear the box kick is staying, and it's not just in conditions like Sat we use it. Although that felt like the perfect game for it.

Radwan had a few good runs and looked (and sounded) great defensively organising the back line very well/vocally in the 1st half. However Sinoti had 1 run which resulted in him running into Hardie late on, surely 1 on 1 he should be eating Champ defenders up.

At least this year there doesn't seem to be the challenge from 1 team in particular like Irish had with Ealing last year. My next trip is Ealing away before Christmas and I'm hoping the quality (rugby & weather) is significantly better!

11/11/2019 10:27
I think we are all in agreement that getting promoted is the priority and 5 wins from 5 is exactly what we want and to a fair degree expect.
I suspect that we have all played enough rugby on cold wet windy days to understand the need for pragmatism.
My point and I think it is shared with a few others on this forum is that we must at the same time prepare for next year. This is in terms of game time for players that we hope to be established Premiership players and a more varied attack. To my mind we arenít demonstrating too much progress on this latter area.
That observation is from the 8 games as opposed to just Saturday. Also delighted to see Kibirige having a good start to the season and demonstrating his talent and skills. Not potential. If you are good enough you are old enough. It also works in reverse if you are good enough you are young enough. I donít wish to see good players thrown on the scrap heap at 30ish.

11/11/2019 11:15
Its not only about the conditions...its about most of the games this season so far, as roger and Out states above.

Look at our pack players.

McGuigan, Cooper, (Young Blamire) all dynamic powerful hookers,
Ah You - big powerful, dynamic TH
Locks - to be confirmed as they are mostly new
Gary Graham, Calum Chick, Negusa, Collet (is he still with us? ) Hardie, Uzowke, Young Marshall etc etc are all dynamic, pacy powerful back rowers.

We should be looking for a quick rucking game looking to get our pacy young backs on the front foot, with the likes of Matavesi snr offering some brute force in there aswell.

Its an extreme example but look at the Japanese team this world cup. No superstars but they played a pacy high risk game.

We have the pitch so why arent we looking to play more high tempo, not just meandering side to side and back again multiple phases then box kick it away,

Developing the style of the team can get past the gap in funding between us and the top sides.

11/11/2019 12:22
Well not a classic and the weather was absolutely horrendous.
I also thought Welch made a big difference to the forwards in the second half and he certainly played his part in the maul leading to the try.His guile and experience will stand the team in good stead as the season progresses.
Also thought Temmy did a real good job on winding up Floody and was Bedfords best player on the day commanding the lineouts and forward plays.
Not one of Negusas best performances ,but Sean Robinson was as good as any on the pitch .
I do like a Graham, Welch, Chick, combo but that is just IMO.
However we do need to get those lineouts nailed better.

Good match coming up Sunday.
COYF 6/6 is worth fighting for.

11/11/2019 17:07
I watched it not the greatest game but what can you expect in them conditions, sorry but I still think Micky Young is way to slow with his ball distribution takes him forever to pass it needs to be quicker.

dick g
11/11/2019 17:36
Reading the observations from people who clearly think they know better than Deano and co and urge replacements is interesting.

Stand by to chortle.

I was a newspaper and radio ballet critic for 50 years. I saw an awful lot of dance. However, while I was skilled at finding fault in technique or overall performance, I never felt for a moment that I was equipped to be a choreographer, run a company or even to suggest that, for example, the Artistic Director, ballet master and mistress (Equivalent of D of R and coaches) of the likes of Birmingham Royal Ballet should be replaced.

Hope you enjoyed the laugh.

12/11/2019 07:32
We made the trip down to watch this game. The conditions were horrendous, after we got back on sunday afternoon I watched the game on sky and the tv didnt do the awful conditions justice.
I thought Arscott had a canny game and his confidence is improving, think he only dropped one high ball all game. MOM for me.
I'm happy with the win and im looking forward with the team kicking on for the rest of the season. We have some quality players to come back into the side yet like, Logo, Van Der Walt & Takalua so for me things can only improve.
I have every faith in lads COYF

dick g
12/11/2019 09:09
Glad someone else shares my preference for a half full bottle. Perhaps some time we can use them to drink to the team's success.

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