Newcastle Falcons must take a minimum of four points from this weekend’s home clash with Exeter. That is according to the Falcons’ head coach, Alan Tait. Newcastle find themselves 10 points adrift at the foot of the Premiership table. Last weekend’s crushing defeat from Northampton brought their recent rise in form to an abrupt end and if Premiership survival is to remain a possibility on Tyneside an instant response is needed.
Many experts have already judged this to be Newcastle’s last chance to save their season. Whilst remaining 10 points adrift wouldn’t in itself condemn the Falcons nor will the four points in them self prove vital, the failure to win a game such as this could, many think be the final nail in the coffin for Newcastle.
Tait has it appears highlighted certain games he feels the side have to target in order to maintain their Premiership place for next year. He believes that if the side can continue the positives from the defeat to Northampton. He believes they showed enough promise in breaking through the Northampton line and created enough chances. They do though, he admits, need to turn those chances into points against the Chiefs this weekend. They are already hot favourites to be relegated on the Betfair Rugby Union Betting exchanges, so really need to do a drastic turnaround if they are to survive.
Whilst they did produce a lot in attack against the Saints the naivety they demonstrated in defence was all too clear. If the Falcons are to avoid defeat at the weekend, and relegation in the long term they will have to tighten up significantly in defence. The Saints ran in four tries, two of which came from kicks behind and they could have added two further tries from similar moves which did not quite come off. The ease with which Northampton cut through their defence will be a worry for Newcastle and an issue they drastically need to remedy if they are to stay up. And they need to do it sooner rather than later given that some of their players will be being used in the Six Nations. (Incidentally England are favourites on the 2012 Six Nations Betting markets!)
The Exeter game gives the Falcons a chance to get their season back on track. They must capitalise in order to worry the likes of Wasps and Worcester. As things stand their two main relegation rivals will not be remotely worried. A bit of pressure from the Falcons could cause one or other of them to be dragged into a relegation scrap and no one in the division has as much experience as Newcastle in coming through such things to fight another day. The comeback must start this weekend, if it doesn’t you must fear for Newcastle.