Newcastle Falcons get the better of Harlequins

Date published: December 4 2016

Newcastle Falcons continued with their fine recent form when they claimed a deserved 38-32 win over Harlequins at Kingston Park on Sunday.

Following their exceptional 22-16 victory over Northampton Saints last weekend, the Falcons enjoyed an excellent first half against Quins, going into the break 21-8 ahead.

The hosts touched down three times through Michael Young, Juan Pablo Socino and Mark Wilson as they opened up a 13-point buffer. Socino’s second effort sealed the bonus-point before a pair of Karl Dickson tries, which built on Rob Buchanan’s and Tim Swiel’?s first half scores, gave the visitors genuine hope of pulling off a win.

However, Evan Olmstead and Marcus Watson went over late on to take the Tyneside-based outfit into seventh in the table. Tim Visser’?s late converted try did give Quins two extra points to move them above Gloucester and into sixth, but it was another away day disappointment.

After an intermittent start to the campaign, the Londoners appeared to have found their rhythm, particularly at home, but they have struggled on their travels.

Despite a positive opening, which saw Swiel take them 3-0 in front, Dean Richards’ men soon began to find holes in the opposition rearguard. Harlequins were especially exposed through the heart of their defence and one such midfield surge by Alex Tait set up the first try for Young.

John Kingston’s side hit back via Buchanan, who latched onto Visser’s pass, before the Falcons re-established their lead when Socino picked up at the base of the ruck and scampered over. Another Tait break then laid the platform for a third score as the wing took play to within inches of the line and Wilson was on hand to barge across the whitewash.

Joel Hodgson added the conversion once again for a 21-8 advantage at the interval. With Socino extending Newcastle’s lead at the start of the second period, Kingston needed a response from his charges and he received when Dickson showed his sniping skills by touching down from close range.

The scrum-half soon made it a double eight minutes later following the away team’s best move of the match, an attack which saw the backs combine brilliantly.

Previously, with the opposition increasing the pressure, the Falcons may have crumbled but this is a far more confident outfit and they moved clear through Olmstead?s try.

Ruaridh Jackson brought Quins to within seven via a penalty but Watson scampered over to secure an impressive win for Newcastle, even though the Londoners had the final word after Visser’s solo score.

The scorers:

For Newcastle Falcons:
Socino 2, Young, Wilson, Olmstead, Watson
Cons: Hodgson 3, Delany

For Harlequins:
Dickson 2, Buchanan, Visser
Cons: Jackson 3
Pens: Swiel, Jackson

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Mike Delany, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Fred Burdon, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Alex Tait, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Michael Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Mark Wilson (c), 6 Callum Chick, 5 Will Witty, 4 Evan Olmstead, 3 David Wilson, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers
Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Opeti Fonua, 20 Nick Civetta, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Marcus Watson, 23 Dominic Waldouck

Harlequins: 15 Aaron Morris, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 James Chisholm, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Will Collier, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Mark Lambert
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Adam Jones, 19 George Merrick, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Charlie Walker

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Tim Wigglesworth, Gareth Copsey
TMO: David Grashoff