Newcastle opened the European club rugby season on Thursday with a 22-16 win over Bourgoin in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Newcastle Falcons opened the European club rugby season on Thursday with a 22-16 win over Bourgoin in the Amlin Challenge Cup at Kingston Park.
Newcastle survived a late scare to triumph in their first ever meeting with Bourgoin.
Tries from Jeremy Manning, Joe Graham and Luke Fielden gave the Falcons victory at Kingston Park.
Jeremy Gondrand's score ensured a tense finale but some determined defence prevented the French side turning the game around.
Sebastien Laloo kicked the French side into a 6-0 lead and Mark Wilson's clumsy footwork squandered the chance of a try before the Falcons clicked into gear 20 minutes in.
A superb move started by Luke Eves' break ended with Jeremy Manning dummying over.
The fly-half missed the conversion but was accurate five minutes later when hooker Joe Graham burrowed over following sustained pressure.
Brent Wilson followed his namesake and fellow flanker in failing to take a straightforward chance when he fumbled Manning's cross-kick, meaning half-time arrived with the scoreline at 12-6.
Timothy Cowley's last-ditch tackle denied Manning another try before he and Laloo traded penalties.
But the Falcons worked an overlap in the 63rd minute, Fielden going over before the converstion saw debutant Joel Hodgson join him in registering his first points for Newcastle.
Replacement scrum-half Gondrand's converted try cut the deficit and tempers flared as he was denied another by James Fitzpatrick's bone-shaking challenge, with replays indicating a punch thrown by Bourgoin substitute Erwan Iapteff in the fracas.
The hosts maintained their advantage, though, to open their campaign with a win.
Tries: Manning, Graham, Fielden
Cons: Manning, Hodgson
Pens: Laloo 3
Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Luke Eves, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Jeremy Manning, 9 Micky Young, 8 Ally Hogg (capt), 7 Mark Wilson, 6 Brent Wilson, 5 Glen Townson, 4 Filipo Levi, 3 Micky Ward, 2 Joe Graham, 1 Grant Shiells.
Replacements: 16 Kieran Brookes, 17 Darren Fearn, 18 Tim Ryan, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Redford Pennycook, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 James Fitzpatrick, 23 Joel Hodgson.
Bourgoin: 15 Mael Moinot, 14 Brando Va'aulu, 13 Willem van Zyl, 12 Matias Viazzo, 11 Ratu Nasiganiyavi, 10 Sebastien Laloo, 9 Mickael Campeggia (capt), 8 Thomas Genevois, 7 Alex Tulou, 6 Timothy Cowley, 5 Albin Louchard, 4 Wessel Jooste, 3 Sylvain Charlet, 2 Julien Janaudy, 1 Olivier Milloud.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Merle, 17 Erwan Iapteff, 18 Vincent Pelo, 19 Camille Levast, 20 Yan Labrit, 21 Jeremy Gondrand, 22 David Janin, 23 Jean-Francois Coux.
Venue: Kingston Park
Referee: Carlo Damasco
Assistant referees: Stefano PennÃ¨, Mauro Dordolo