Newcastle received a mini-boost on Monday after sole promotion hopefuls Bristol lost their play-off first leg 45-24 at Cornish Pirates.
Newcastle received a mini-boost on Monday after sole promotion hopefuls Bristol lost their play-off first leg 45-24 against Cornish Pirates in Penzance.
The come-from-behind victory at Mennaye Field leaves Bristol with a mountain to climb when they attempt to overturn a 21-point deficit this Sunday.
Newcastle were widely expected to be relegated from the Aviva Premiership after finishing bottom of the pile, one point behind closest rivals Wasps.
But with Bristol being the lone side able to gain promotion into the top flight for 2012/13 due to license applications and limited facilities at other clubs' stadiums in England's second tier, there was hope for the Falcons that the Championship outfits would do them a favour in the knockouts.
The two-legged RFU Championship Final is scheduled to take place on May 23 and 30.