Falcons At 10 - Strange But Falcons!


Ever present
By Mark H
November 3 2005

In researching and compiling the Falcons At 10 series, there have been a number of facts come to light that have caused me to sit up and take notice. Some are known; most are strange; to my knowledge they're all accurate. So let me present the twenty peculiarities that I've discovered.

Falcons have never been beaten at home by the reigning European champions.  On the four times they have played, Falcons have won all five:-

 

          Bath 19-17, September 1998

          Northampton 27-20, August 2000

          Leicester 19-16, August 2001

          Leicester 24-22, March 2003

          Wasps 29-28, February 2005

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The millionth supporter to attend a home Falcons Premiership match will probably attend the Worcester game on 1st January 2006.  The aggregate attendance figure at the start of 2005/06 is 961,412.

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Falcons have never won a play off match, and have never played a play off match outside the west country, losing to Bath 18-9 in April 2001, Gloucester 60-9 in May 2002, and Gloucester again 23-16 in May 2005.

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Players from eleven countries – England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa, Tonga, USA and Argentina – have represented the club in the Premiership.  We’re still waiting for the first Frenchman, and Tino Paoletti will become the first Italian to play for the club in 2005/06.

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Falcons are the only English champions never to win the European Cup.  Northampton are the only English European Cup winners never to win the Premiership.

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In the ten years of professional rugby, only Leicester, Wasps and Bath have won more trophies than Falcons.  In that same time, only Worcester and Bristol of the current premiership clubs haven’t won a trophy at the highest level.

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Falcons’ biggest Premiership win (margin) is 56-10 versus Rotherham on 9th November 2003.  The highest score achieved by Falcons is 59 versus Wasps on 23rd September 2000 (59-21), whilst the biggest score against and the biggest margin of defeat is 83-10 versus Leicester on 19th February 2005.

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Falcons have been nilled once in the Premiership, by London Irish on 29th December 2002 (20-0).  Falcons are yet to nil anyone, the best being restricting the opposition to six points on three occasions.

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With the exception of the 2004 semi-final against Pertemps Bees, the last time Falcons played lower league opposition in the national cup competition was 2000/01, the last season in which the Premiership clubs entered in the last 32, when Rosslyn Park were the hosts.  Up to and including 2004/05, Falcons had played Premiership opposition in the last 16 for seven consecutive seasons.

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Falcons have played clubs from France, Italy, Ireland, Spain, England, Wales and Scotland in European competition.  The record is good:-

 

P W D L F A
France 21 13 0 8 667 368
Scotland 4 4 0 0 159 74
Wales 8 6 0 2 293 171
Italy 2 1 0 1 45 47
England 1 0 0 1 12 17
Ireland 2 0 0 2 34 45
Spain 2 2 0 0 137 37
40 26 0 14 1347 759

 

Of the 21 teams played so far, Falcons have met Perpignan, Edinburgh and Newport (in their various forms) on four occasions each.

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At the start of 2005/06, Falcons have three players – Matt Burke, Owen Finegan and Jonny Wilkinson – who have scored in a World Cup final.  No other club or state side has ever managed this.

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Only one player – Jonny Wilkinson – has appeared in every one of Falcons’ Premiership seasons.

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The 20th game of the season, currently scheduled as Sale at Kingston Park on 16th April, will be the Falcons’ 200th regular season Premiership match since August 1997.  The current record, season by season, is:-

 

P W D L F A
1997/98 22 19 0 3 645 387
1998/99 26 14 0 12 719 639
1999/2000 22 6 2 14 377 630
2000/01 22 11 0 11 554 568
2001/02 22 12 1 9 490 458
2002/03 22 8 0 14 388 545
2003/04 22 7 2 13 497 525
2004/05 22 9 2 11 475 596
180 86 7 87 4145 4348

 

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Falcons have a 100% record on Mondays (so can we move all the games to then?)  Worryingly for the first game of the season, the record on Friday nights is atrocious:-

 

P W D L F A
Sunday 92 49 5 38 2233 2082
Monday 3 3 0 0 62 36
Tuesday 10 7 0 3 257 218
Wednesday 10 7 0 3 267 201
Thursday 1 0 0 1 26 40
Friday 8 1 1 6 129 225
Saturday 56 19 1 36 1171 1546
180 86 7 87 4145 4348

 

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Rob Andrew is the only coach/director of rugby to have been in charge for the full eight seasons of the Premiership, the next longest being Phil Davies at Leeds.  Nine of the current Top 12 have changed their top man since May 2003.  Falcons, Leeds and Worcester are the exceptions.

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Falcons hold the record for most Premiership wins in a 22 game season (19 in 1997/98).

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Falcons haven’t won at Leicester, Bristol, Northampton and Gloucester since 1997/98.

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Falcons have won five and lost seven of the 180 Premiership games by a single point.  Of the five wins, three – Harlequins, Sale and Wasps – came last season.

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Of Falcons seven Premiership draws, two have been against Leicester at Kingston Park.

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Falcons have played at 22 of the 25 grounds to have hosted Premiership rugby.  The missing ones are Ashton Gate (Bristol – 1 game in 2002/03), Twickenham (the London double header in 2004/05), and Millmoor (Rotherham – 10 games in 2003/04), although Falcons did play at Millmoor in the Powergen Cup that season.

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