ALL CHANGE IN TOON

Newcastle Falcon’s parted company with Coach Alan Tait this week and the instant response on the pitch has already shown promise.

The Falcons main concern for the remainder of this season will be to secure Premiership survival but their display against Petarca Padova in the Challenge Cup will give a glimmer of hope to this seemingly impossible chance.

Falcons ran out 43-0 winners against their Italian counterparts, scoring seven tries in the process. The experimental Newcastle side took a while to get going, but once they did, in the second half they looked impressive. Their win has shortened their latest Rugby betting odds to 11/10 to avoid relegation.

With the score at an unconvincing 7-0 at half time the Falcons seemed to wake up at the break, running in a further 36 points without opening the game up enough to concede a single point themselves.

It is unlikely that the Falcons will qualify for the knockout stages of the European competition, but this encounter, along with their game against Lyon on Saturday will give them the chance to build for the rest of the season and a push towards their ominous task of trying to catch Wasps, Bath or Worcester.

New boss Gary Gold arrives in Newcastle this week and he will have got a mixed view of his task from this game. Yes the second half was impressive, but the first half exposed everything that has been wrong with the Falcons and their inability to finish enough chances all season.

His task to secure the Falcons Premiership survival does not kick off until the middle of February. Games against Sale and Leicester in the LV=Cup will provide a chance against a higher standard of opposition but eyes will firmly be on the league matches, starting with their trip to Bath as they look to close the 9 point gap to Wasps in the remainder of the season.

His task won’t be made any easier by the international break, even if the Six Nations Betting Odds suggest that at least some Newcastle players will have a taste of victroy (and the confidence boost that comes with it).

NEWCASTLE BRING IN GOLD

Newcastle has appointed a new director of rugby and they have turned to Gary Gold of South Africa as Alan Tait was relieved of his directorial responsibilities.

Also Mike Ford, the former defence coach of England has also joined the rugby club’s backroom staff as the team faces relegation.

Former coach Alan Tait has admitted the fact that his team’s loss to Exeter did make him think about his future at the club. The painful loss to Exeter had ensured that Newcastle face the threat of relegation in the Aviva Premiership. He has now decided to just go away from rugby for a while and take a well deserved break.

Paul Morairty, the forward’s coach will now be taking charge of the Amlin Challenge Cup against Petrarca Padova. Gary Gold and the new defence coach Mike Ford were welcomed warmly into the team and the management by the club owner Semore Kurdi. He also said that with a change in guard, the club is now looking forward to revive their claim on the Aviva Premiership as strong contenders.

Gary Gold will be taking the reins of Newcastle after having been working as Peter de Villiers’ assistant in the South Africa set up for the past four years. Gary cut his teeth managing the London Irish and then decided to join the Exile’s backroom staff in the year 2001 before he was nominated as the head coach.

He then returned to South Africa and went on to work with Western Province and with the Stormers. He now makes a return to the Aviva Premiership and confesses that he is eager and excited with the job that lies ahead of him. He confesses to know a lot about the players of Newcastle and the culture present in this club and hence reckons that he should not have any problems settling in. Mike Ford has also worked extensively in Ireland and hence will bring his experience to Newcastle.