Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Woeful Falcons Slip into the Bottom Two

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Woeful Falcons Slip into the Bottom Two

Article excerpt


Newcastle plumbed new depths of despair when they slid to second bottom spot in the Premiership at a rain-soaked Kingston Park last night, writes ALAN HEDLEY.

The injury-hit Falcons handed debuts to Gavin Beasley and Samoan Loki Crichton in the second half in their 14-3 defeat by Harlequins in front of a sell-out 10,000 crowd.

Both Beasley and Crichton did nothing wrong but the absence of Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood robbed Newcastle of a cutting edge at number 10 in a truly awful game the Falcons will want to forget.

"It was an awful game," said Falcons skipper Matt Burke. "We seemed unable to gain any continuity ( we dropped the ball and our skill level just wasn't good enough.

"It was a terrible game in front of a good crowd and on television as well when you want to perform and we didn't. We had a bit of a go at the end but our control let us down again. We knew it was a must-win game and we didn't do it. We can't bury our heads in the sand. We have to work hard and understand what we're doing on the field and not run around like headless chickens."

Newcastle conceded two soft first half tries, the result of some awful tackling and they were totally unable to break down Harlequins, who were no great shakes themselves, in an excruciating long and tedious second half.

Newcastle spilled the ball countless times, missed loads of tackles and kicked just as badly. No-one ( except Mathew Tait ( was exempt from the carnage and the one stage it seemed it was only Tait who was prepared to get stuck into the tackle.

It was Tait's chargedown of Mike Brown's kick led to early Newcastle pressure and when Quins strayed offside Matt Burke kicked a penalty and it seemed the Falcons were up and running.

But then Quins scored two gift tries through wing David Strettle and big No. …

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