Five Jimmy Gopperth penalties were enough to get Newcastle's season up and running with a 15-10 win over London Wasps on Sunday.
Five Jimmy Gopperth penalties were enough to get Newcastle's Aviva Premiership season up and running with a 15-10 win over London Wasps on Sunday.
Gopperth kicked Newcastle into an early lead after Wasps had been penalised for not releasing in the tackle. But the visitors struck back within five minutes.
Christian Wade showed amazing pace to break away from the Falcons' blindside defence and fly over the tr line from 20 metres out. Ryan Davis was on target with his conversion to make it 3-7.
Wasps dominated proceedings during the minutes that followed and went close to extending their lead, but it was Newcastle who posted the game's next points through another Gopperth penalty after Wasps had infringed at the line-out.
The Falcons then regained the lead on the stroke of half-time when Gopperth stepped up to convert another penalty opportunity, this time from a narrow angle.
That made it 9-7 and, with the rain teeming down, another tight forty minutes was predicted following the restart.
Almost inevitably, the first points of the second half came from the boot of Gopperth after Wasps had infringed at yet another line-out.
The visitors reduced Newcastle's advantage back down to two on the hour mark when Elliot Daly kicked a penalty after Mayor had got Wasps into a good position.
But Gopperth struck again with little over ten minutes remaining to make it 15-10 following an infringement at the ruck. Wasps searched desperately for the score that would win them the game in the closing stages, but Newcastle held on for a crucial first win of the season.
Pens: Gopperth 5
For London Wasps:
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Greg Goosen, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Corne Uys, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch, 6 Richard Mayhew, 5 James Hudson (c), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Ashley Wells, 2 Joe Graham, 1 Grant Shiells
Replacements: 16 Michael Mayhew, 17 Darren Fearn, 18 James Hall, 19 Glen Townson, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Luke Eves, 23 Alex Tait.
London Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Ryan Davis, 9 Nic Berry, 8 John Hart (c), 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Joe Launchbury, 5 Ross Filipo, 4 Richard Birkett, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Jeremy Castex, 18 Simon McIntyre, 19 Joe Burton, 20 Matt Everard, 21 Jonah Holmes, 22 Elliot Daly, 23 Richard Haughton.
Referee: Sean Davey