Thursday, October 16, 2014

Newcastle Falcons progression


Almost a year after their last Aviva Premiership win, the Newcastle Falcons knew they were in trouble. Exeter Chiefs were the visitors to Kingston Park. A real task. A team that easily looks like they’ll break into the top four. 80 minutes later it was all over. A victory by a narrow margin but a platform to build on. Sure enough, a week later, the Falcons found themselves in the bottom of the table clash against London Welsh at the Kassam Stadium. Win this and you’re safe they said. Once again, the Falcons delivered a clinical performance and came away with the points, but it’s now they must look to build.

A friend said to me very recently that the Falcons season relies on one thing. Beat the side that's bottom, snatch a few wins against the lesser clubs elsewhere and that should be enough to keep the team in the league. Needless to say, that's exactly how I felt, but after back to back wins in the league, why can’t the Falcons go on to bigger things. The team boasts a lot of home grown talent but added to their ranks over the summer with the signings of Juan Socino and Alessana Tuilagi. They’ve proved that they can compete against the big boys and many argue that the opening day defeat to Leicester Tigers could have been somewhat different if the Falcons had have kept their nerve at times.

I heard a rumour that when Dean Richards took over at the club that there was a five year plan that meant promotion back to the Premiership (that was ticked off with consummate ease) and then to get the club into the Heineken Cup within five years. Now I don't know if it was true. However for arguments sake, lets say that it is. The Falcons are a far cry from competing with Europe’s best. But it’s always good to have ambition. The last few years we have seemed to be content not with mediocrity, but with trundling along. A lot of fans seem very frustrated. It’s time that the Falcons really sent a statement of intent out to the rest of the league. Wins are needed and with the club opening up its Challenge Cup campaign on Friday night, many are hoping for a third consecutive win on the bounce. For now, the club need to take baby steps and work towards that ultimate goal, get back up the right end of the table, bring back memories of the 90’s, show the region just what they are capable of and send a message that the Falcons aren't just their to make up the numbers. It’s time for the club to stand up and be counted and in the years to come, deliver success to the Kingston Park faithful.

Kristian. 20. Geordie. Fond of Wasps, Falcons and Ulster. @Kristian7Ross

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