Planet Rugby

Falcons pip Dragons in a thriller

03rd November 2007 19:51

Share:

Andy Williams v newcastle

Got it! Andy Williams stretches for the Dragons' fourth try

Newcastle edged out Newport 29-24 in their EDF Energy Cup tie at Kingston Park on Saturday, despite the absence of big names Jonny Wilkinson, Jamie Noon and skipper Phil Dowson.

With World Cup duo Toby Flood and Mathew Tait pulling the strings, the Falcons surged into a 17-0 lead but Newport fought back and could have snatched a win in the dying seconds.

Newport did not help their cause when Joe Bearman and Andrew Hall were shown yellow cards within the space of five minutes midway through the first half, both times for preventing release

Aled Thomas's ninth-minute penalty from 40 metres fell short in an opening spell notable for some scrappy handling and referee James Jones' frequent whistle before John Rudd's surging run and chip ahead had Newport scrambling back as Rudd was shunted into touch after the kick.

Flood and Ollie Phillips backed up a Lee Dickson break but the move broke down when big lock Andy Perry was forced into touch on the Newport 22 but the pressure was building and Flood kicked a 17th-minute penalty

And it was Flood who fastened on to Joe McDonell's offload and a delightful backhand pass set up Steve Jones for a 19th-minute try which Flood also converted.

And, when Joe Bearman was sin-binned for preventing release, Newcastle immediately scored with a rolling maul from the penalty and Flood again converted from wide out.

Newport were in disarray and under severe pressure when Hall joined Bearman in the sin bin after a thumping run by Falcons prop David Wilson.

But then with Newcastle pressing hard, Martyn Thomas intercepted Flood's long pass and raced 70 metres for a try under the posts to give Newport a lifeline.

The lifeline was stretched as early as the third minute of the second half with Flood rifling a crossfield kick for Ollie Phillips to break through Thomas's despairing tackle and score.

Newport should have scored when Rhodri Gomer-Davies broke clear down the left but he lost the ball just short of the line when May hit him with a big tackle.

The Dragons did score when Rhys Thomas drove over from close range to make it 22-12 in the 51st minute.

Tait became the third player in the sin bin for preventing release in the 54th minute with Newcastle under real pressure from a rejuvenated Newport side.

And it came as no surprise when Andy Williams darted through after Newcastle made a mess of their own line-out.

It brought Newport back to within three points at 22-19 but after Newcastle blew another chance at a line-out and with 10 minutes left on the clock, Rudd surged from deep to collect Steve Jones' pop pass for a great bonus point try.

Back came Newport with the Falcons defence in shreds and Thomas crashed over for his second try within a minute of Rudd's try.

That was a bonus score for Newport and also earned them a second bonus point for being less than seven points down

Crucially, Aled Thomas missed the conversion and from that point Newcastle were happy to run the clock down but they were forced to defend desperately in the closing seconds with Newport on the attack.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:

Tries: Wilson, Jones, Phillips, Rudd

Cons: Flood 2, Jones

Pen: Flood

For the Dragons

Tries: Martin Thomas, Rhys Thomas 2, Williams

Cons: Aled Thomas 2

Yellow cards: Bearman (25, Dragons), Hall (29, Dragons)

Newcastle: 15 Tom May, 14 Ollie Phillips, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Steve Jones, 11 John Rudd, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Russell Winter, 7 Brent Wilson, 6 Geoff Parling, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Andy Perry, 3 David Wilson, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Joe McDonnell (c).

Replacements: 16 Andy Long, 17 Jon Golding, 18 Jason Oakes, 19 Ed Williamson, 20 Hall Charlton, 21 Tim Visser, 22 Alex Tait.

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Paul Emerick, 13 Rhodri Gomer-Davies, 12 Gareth Maule, 11 Richard Mustoe, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Andrew Williams, 8 Michael Owen, 7 Colin Charvis (c), 6 Joe Bearman, 5 Peter Sidoli, 4 Andrew Hall, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Ben Daly, 1 Hugh Gustafson,

Replacements: 16 Kieran Crawford, 17 Adam Black, 18 Jamie Corsi, 19 Lewis Evans, 20 Richard Parks, 21 Ceri Sweeney, 22 Wayne Evans

Referee: James Jones (Wales)

Touch judges: Neil Ballard (Wales), Neil Howells (Wales)

Assessor: Brian Leigh (England)

Television match official: Trevor Parlett (England), Graham Hughes (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26