Perpignan’s Bernard Gouta, left, is tackled by Newcastle Falcon’s Tom May, center, and Micky Ward during their European Cup rugby match in Perpignan, southern France, Saturday Jan. 8, 2005. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
- Newcastle Falcons are 1.5-point away favorites at London Irish in a Rugby Premiership match slated for Sunday
- At 5-1-0, the Falcons are second in the table, four points behind the front-running Bristol Bears
- London Irish (1-4-1) are in the danger zone near relegation, in 10th spot out of 12 clubs
All signs point to Sunday being a rough day for London Irish and a splendid afternoon for the Newcastle Falcons.
The newly-promoted Falcons are 5-1-0 and second in the table behind the Bristol Bears, the only side to defeat Newcastle in Rugby Premiership play this season. Bristol is also 5-1-0 on the season but resides four points ahead of Newcastle (24-20) thanks to bonus points.
London Irish are 1-4-1, 10th in the table and just three points clear of the relegation zone. A furious rally in their last match resulted in a 27-27 draw at Harlequins.
The Falcons are 1.5-point away favorites this Sunday (9:30 am ET) at Brentford Community Stadium. Newcastle has won its last three matches against London Irish.
Newcastle Falcons vs London Irish Rugby Premiership Odds
|Newcastle Falcons||-141||-1.5 (-115)||OFF|
|London Irish||+106||+1.5 (-115)||OFF|
Odds taken Jan. 27th at DraftKings.
Newcastle’s Brawn Hailed
The Falcons downed bottom of the table Gloucester 22-10 in their last match. Matias Orlando scored a try in his second match for the club. He joined Newcastle after playing for Argentina in the Rugby Championship. He was in the side that defeated New Zealand 25-15, giving the Pumas their first-ever victory over the All Blacks.
Going back to last season, the Falcons are 19-1 in their last 20 league matches. Newcastle has allowed 20 points to an opponent just once in six Rugby Premiership matches.
Can’t wait for this! https://t.co/HybmA3jgo4
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) January 24, 2021
This match pits the two best defensive squads in the Rugby Premiership against each other. Newcastle (81 points allowed) is #2. London Irish possess the sternest defensive unit, surrendering a paltry 68 points.
The Falcons have scored just 100 points, placing them eighth in the Rugby Premiership in offense. Newcastle is the only one of the 12 clubs that hasn’t collected a bonus point.
2021 Six Nations Championship Odds Tracker
London Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling
All analytics point to the fact that London Irish should show a much better mark this season than their record is indicating. Despite their 1-4-1 slate, the Exiles actually display a point differential of +4.
They’ve scored one more try (seven) than they’ve allowed (six), although both of those totals are Rugby Premiership lows.
🔜 🏡 🏟#LIRvNEW pic.twitter.com/Y5ZJNGhtVz
— London Irish (@londonirish) January 26, 2021
In their last match, London Irish scored 12 points over the final 15 minutes to forge that 27-27 draw with Harlequins. Ollie Haskins, playing his 100th match for the club, dove over for the match-tying try in the 78th minute.
The last win by the Exiles – their only win this season – was a 22-9 verdict over Leicester on Nov. 29th. The side has played just twice in Rugby Premiership play since then. London Irish lost matches to Northampton and Bath by forfeit due COVID-19 protocol violations.
Falcons Will Soar
Newcastle is the picture of consistency. The Falcons haven’t lost consecutive away matches since their final two contests of the 2018-19 season. They come to London off a 29-17 loss at Bristol in their previous road match.
🏉 @londonirish 🆚 @FalconsRugby
🏟 Brentford Community Stadium
🗓 Sunday 31st January
📺 @btsportrugby Extra 2#GallagherPrem preview ⬇️
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) January 27, 2021
They are also rolling along against London Irish with three successive victories. The Exiles haven’t beaten the Falcons since a 20-15 verdict on January 10, 2016.
Pick: Newcastle Falcons -1.5 (-115), 1 unit.
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.