Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Far from Happy despite Win

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Far from Happy despite Win

Article excerpt

Byline: By Duncan Madsen

Four away points, a banana skin avoided ( and the hoped-for party for the Premiership new-boys ruined ( signified mission accomplished as the Newcastle team coach headed back home from Worcester last night.

But such is the new expectation in the Falcons camp this season that instead of self congratulations at a job well done, players and management alike were bitterly disappointed at the overall performance.

"We won but we didn't play very well," admitted Newcastle boss Rob Andrew, in a dramatic turnaround from seasons past when he invariably looked to find some solace no matter what had happened on the pitch.

He continued the new mood of realism when he added: "We actually played poorly.

"The players have talked about it and they know we played badly, but we won 30-9.

"What does that say? It says we managed ourselves quite well even when we weren't playing great and we were under pressure.

"It was quite a difficult first game, but we have nearly come away with a bonus point.

"I'm not sure what that says about the sort of season we've got ahead, but we would have taken that score if we had been offered it before kick-off.

"Having said that, we know we can go on and improve by 300-400% from here."

I wouldn't disagree at all with that analysis, although watching the opening 15 or so minutes at Sixways was like witnessing a Whitehall farce as the Falcons did everything in their power to get Worcester off to a flyer and raise the spirits of the capacity crowd to fever pitch.

Within the opening minute, Jamie Noon's clearance kick went into touch on the full and then Matt Thompson threw in squint at a five metre lineout.

From the resultant scrum, Worcester attacked, Newcastle were penalised at a ruck and James Brown slotted over the kick to put the home side 3-0 in front and only two minutes on the board.

That was just the start the home side wanted and such was Newcastle profligacy early on that Brown's second penalty after 12 minutes was the least that Worcester could have hoped for during a torrid opening spell that will carry an X-rating on the Falcons' match video. …

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