Newcastle 20 - London Irish 23 (11th November 2005)

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Newcastle 20 - London Irish 23 (11th November 2005)

by OxonRob on Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:04 pm

My Granny pinched my Teddy

Newcastle 20 - London Irish 23

In these enlightened days when we must all learn to love our local burglar, it has become fashionable for the accused to plead that he suffered irreparable psychological damage when young, and is thus entitled to lead an almost unfettered life of crime.

And so it must be with rugby.

Rob Andrew believes that “dem cheating Irish” came North and nicked the result from a superior team, principally by not being given a host of yellow cards, and by remaining offside for the entire game. In a sporting effort to justify Mr Andrew’s opinions, I therefore abandoned any thoughts of spending Saturday evening watching the X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, and spent it analysing what really did go on up there in a windy Newcastle on Friday night.

(this review continues after this short movie trailer, thanks to Cath for the artwork - dom_pedro)

You did watch the game, didn’t you? You don’t need me to tell you that it was a scrappy encounter with loads of stoppages for penalties, free kicks, line outs and scrums. In fact there was hardly any opportunity for running about and keeping warm! You hardly need me to mention that London Irish won the game 20-23, that the indomitable Ryan Strudwick came on with ten minutes to go, to record his 200th appearance for our club, and that Mike Horak stayed at home to celebrate the birth of Horak junior on the morning of the game, causing Riki Flutey to retire to 15 and Barry Everitt to return in the 10 shirt.

Well, if all that is still news to you as you read this, maybe you should take a peek at the various match reports in the media, available on this website.

Conditions underfoot were wet, and although the wind largely died in the first half, it got back up to speed in the second, just in time to assist the home team.

Match overview.
The Exiles scrum had the better of the Falcons one in the tight, and Newcastle eventually replaced their entire exhausted front row. Newcastle had done their homework on the Irish line-out, however, causing no end of angst in the first quarter in particular, and occasionally, throughout. The wind played havoc with throw-ins for both sides. The midfield was crowded all night, with little room for either side to make space for their backs. Nonetheless both sides occasionally managed to do so. There was a lot of kicking, notably from Willis, Everitt, Catt, Flutey and Armitage for London Irish, and Wilkinson and Burke for Newcastle.

The verdict on Mr Andrew’s Opinion
Neither team was blameless, but there wasn’t much of it for him to ping and neither team was penalised for offside, anyway. The yellow card count should clearly have been against Newcastle (Charvis and Woods. See unspotted transgressions, below.) Mr Andrew should engage brain before mouth.

The Referee.
I many ways Mr Davey had quite a good game, although he whistled so much that the whole affair was a game of stop-go. However, some of his decisions were a surprise to the contestants, the TV commentators and me. Having watched the game three times, the questionable decisions remain questionable, even now. He also missed one or two transgressions, mainly from Newcastle.

Interruptions to play
There were 24 penalties and free kicks, 16 against LI and 8 against Newcastle

· Four scrums were awarded to LI in the first half and ten in the second.
· 9 scrums were awarded to Newcastle in the first half and 2 in the second.

Where we transgressed
Not releasing tackled player x 3. (But all were dodgy decisions)
Pulling scrum around x 1
In from the side of a ruck x 3
Closing gap in line out x 3
Deliberate knock down of the ball
Offside in the line out (Closing the gap?)
Over the top of a ruck
Not releasing the ball in the tackle
Delaying throw in
Pulling down maul

There were 39 line outs in all, 16 to LI and to 23 Newcastle

Our line out
Resulted in 4 scrums or penalties against LI.
Resulted in 2 scrums or penalties against Newcastle
Newcastle pinched 2 in the first half and none in the second.

The Newcastle line out
Resulted in 3 scrums or penalties against LI.
Resulted in 5 scrums or penalties against Newcastle
We pinched 2 in the first half and none in the second.

Unrewarded LI moments in attack
3.28m Turnover in middle of park releases Delon Armitage for a great run from half way to the corner, where he is tackled by Burke. Was there an inside line?
44m. Catt attempts to emulate Beckham at soccer, from half way he hoofs the ball forward and chases with Armitahe on his right. Had he dribbled right instead of left Delon must have scored. However he dribbled left, and forced a five metre scrum, (from which Murphy scored.)
69m Just outside the Newcastle try line. Armitage, Flutey, Bishop and Penney run the ball up left. A couple of minutes and four phases later, Rautenbach knocks on in the tackle.

Harsh decisions
3m. Line out ball straight to Bob at the back. Pinged for not straight – which it wasn’t. Bob only got the ball by jumping across and took it above the Newcastle line. Commentators mystified.
5.20m. Tait tackled, and two seconds later LI pinged for not releasing him from the tackle. VERY harsh. Even Morris thought so.
51.50m Extremely dodgy penalty against Armitage for holding on after Charvis had tackled man without the ball. Wilkinson kicks into the LI half.
61m. Flutey turns Charvis in the tackle and is instantly penalised for not releasing. He hardly had time to hit the deck before the whistle blew! Even Dewi thought it harsh. Wilko converts from inside his own half. 20-23.

Whew moments
33m Armitage takes a quick throw-in, in the LI half, which he hurls into midfield missing everyone. Flutey retrieves, chips and chases, regains possession and straight into contact.
54m. Wilkinson takes a short penalty, and Newcastle attack wide, out on the left. Flood knocks on a bad pass with the line begging, feet away.
78m. Following a penalty, Newcastle try for a rolling maul, then spread it wide, where LI stop the Falcons 11. Newcastle retain possession, and run right. Newcastle 5 knocks on in sight of the line.

Unpunished transgressions
9.30m. Kennedy and Roche guard the flanks of a ruck, instead of binding or retiring.
17m Newcastle player with grey head-guard (Woods?) seen hitting away mindlessly on the heads of those in the rolling maul. Harmless, but is this allowed?
48m. Flutey kicks ahead and is 100% blocked by Woods. Should be a penalty to LI and a yellow against Woods. Zilch given.
51.52m. Armitage takes the ball up towards the line, backed up by Penney who is tackled off the ball by Charvis, preventing Armitage from passing to him. Another yellow avoided. Another LI penalty averted. Armitage is penalised for holding on to the ball, however! Insult added to injury.

21m Burke scores a TRY in the Irish right corner. Beautiful running, but Flutey stayed out to cover the overlapping wing. Had he come in…..? A tough call. The conversion falls short. 8-3
38m Third phase possession taken by Everitt who breaks inside Wilkinson, and passes inside to Catt coming from outside. Catt to Flutey, further in still. Simple. Everitt converts the try he created. Equally simple. 8-16.
44m. Following Catt’s attempt at soccer, a 5 metre scrum to LI. Murphy picks and goes all of a metre to score a TRY! Everitt converts. 8-23.

Dramatis Personae
Newcastle Falcons: M Burke, T May, M Tait, T Flood, J Hoyle, J Wilkinson, J Grindal (rep: L Dickson, 46), G Anderson (rep: M Ward, 46), A Long (rep: M Thompson, 60), R Morris (rep: T Paoletti, 65), G Parling, A Buist, O Finegan (rep: M McCarthy, 54), B Woods, C Charvis (captain).

London Irish: R Flutey, D Armitage, R Penney, M Catt (captain), J Bishop, B Everitt, B Willis, N Hatley, D Coetzee (rep: R Russell, 72), F Rautenbach (rep: M Collins, 50-57), B Casey (rep: R Strudwick, 72), N Kennedy, K Roche, D Danaher, P Murphy.

Referee: Mr Sean Davey (RFU)[/b]
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by dom_pedro on Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:50 pm

Thanks OR and thanks also to Cath for t'poster.
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