Wasps hold on to beat Falcons

Date published: February 6 2016

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Wasps were made to work hard for their 9-8 win over Premiership strugglers Newcastle on Saturday in a result that takes them up to fifth place.

A try from Nili Latu was not enough as Wasps defeated the Falcons.

The first-half was an extremely attritional affair with both sides struggling to gather a foothold in the match. The boots of Andy Goode and Jimmy Gopperth ensured that the sides would not go into half time scoreless in what was an ugly 40 minutes.

The second-half was more open as Christian Wade was denied a try for offside before Latu scored for Newcastle.

This could have given the Falcons a platform to go on and win the match but profligate kicking from Goode was their downfall as Gopperth landed two penalties in the final quarter to secure the win for Wasps.

The defeat continues what has been a disappointing season for Newcastle as they now sit in eleventh place in the Premiership table following the match.

Wasps, meanwhile arrest a poor run of form and rise to fifth place in the table, five points behind Harlequins in fourth.

Wasps were dealt an early blow as James Gaskell was forced off with an injury in the third minute.

Newcastle's Goode missed two successive penalties in difficult conditions before Gopperth got the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty for the hosts on 22 minutes.

Veteran Goode got the sides level with his third attempt of the match three minutes later after Wasps were penalised for offside.

A quiet first-half drew to a close with the sides leaving the pitch at three points apiece.

Wade thought he'd got Wasps off to a blistering start in the second-half. However, his try was ruled out after he was deemed to have been offside on his return from a three month injury lay-off.

The hosts were made to rue this as Newcastle's Latu spotted a gap in their defence to cross for the first try of the match. Former England international Goode was once more off target as his conversion hit the post to leave the scores at 3-8.

In the 54th minute Giovanbattista Venditti was shown a yellow card for an infringement at the breakdown. Gopperth made no mistake with the resulting penalty to bring the home side within two points of the visitors.

In the closing stages Gopperth missed an opportunity to put Wasps into the lead, missing a penalty from 40 metres out. He did however have a second opportunity to put his side into the lead, which he did not spurn as he put the hosts into a 9-8 lead.

A Dan Robson kick gave the Falcons territory in the final seconds of the match but they could not fashion an opportunity and Wasps held out to win 9-8.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Pen: Gopperth 3

For Newcastle:
Try: Latu
Pen: Goode

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 James Downey, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth (c), 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Alex Rieder, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 James Gaskell, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Edd Shervington, 1 Simon McIntyre
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 James Cannon, 20 George Smith, 21 Jamie Stevenson, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Siale Piutau

Newcastle: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Michael Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Nili Latu, 6 Will Welch (c), 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Mark Wilson, 3 Taione Vea, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Richard Mayhew, Sonatane Takulua, 22 Craig Willis, 23 Marcus Watson

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey, Andy Watson
TMO: Keith Lewis

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