Planet Rugby

Newcastle continue run of form

08th March 2009 15:05

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Hodgson nailed by Newcastle

Ouch! Charlie Hodgson is nailed by the Newcastle defence

Newcastle continued the recent run of form that has propelled them away from the Guinness Premiership relegation zone, beating Sale 32-25 at Edgeley Park on Sunday with a monumental forward effort.

Sale's Charlie Hodgson kicked 20 points on the day as he surpassed Jonny Wilkinson's record haul of 1489 to move to 1492 points, an all-time Guinness Premiership high.

Despite his side missing the chance to keep pace with league leaders Gloucester the day belonged to Sale's number ten.

The 28-year-old, who made his debut for the Sharks against Auch in 2000, entered the record books in the 65 minute with a penalty to draw Shark's level.

But Newcastle scored in the 78th minute to earn a bonus point win their fifth victory in a row.

Despite Sale establishing a commanding 13-point lead after eight minutes through a Neil Briggs try, Newcastle hit back with tries from Jon Golding, Danny Williams, Andrew Fenby and Brent Wilson to earn their third successive away victory.

Sale were full of attacking intent from the start and with a line-out deep in Newcastle territory, lock Dean Schofield drove to the line and from the resulting ruck, Dwayne Peel put Briggs over from close range to open the scoring after six minutes.

Hodgson slotted the conversion and added two further penalties to hand Sale a commanding 13-0 lead.

Falcons' fly-half Tom May kept the Falcons' scoreboard ticking over with two penalties before Newcastle made the breakthrough after 29 minutes.

Prop Golding finally found a gap in the Sharks' imperious defence to crash over but May sliced the conversion wide.

The Falcons caught Sale napping when two minutes after the restart the ball was shipped wide and Jamie Noon put Williams over in the far corner with May clinching the conversion.

Hodgson restored Sale's lead five minutes later with a penalty and May then sent a penalty wide but Newcastle were soon in control as substitute Fenby scored on his debut after 52 minutes.

Alex Tait made a jinking run through the Sale defence which was only halted by a last-ditch tackle by Nick Macleod but the ball was shipped wide and Mark Sorenson shipped the ball to Fenby for an easy run in and May converted.

Hodgson added a further penalty and brought Sale to within three points when he slotted over another penalty when Newcastle lock Tim Swinson was sent to the sinbin

Wilkinson's record was then broken in the 65th minute as he etched his name in the history books to draw Sale level.

But Newcastle spoiled the celebrations as they overturned the Sale scrum five metres out and Wilson crossed the line with May kicking the conversion to hand Falcons victory.

The scorers:

For Sale:

Try: Briggs

Con: Hodgson

Pens: Hodgson 6

For Newcastle:

Tries: Golding, Williams, Fenby, Wilson

Cons: May 2

Pens: May 2

Yellow card: Swinton (53, Newcastle, killing the ball)

Sale: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Chris Bell, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Lee Thomas, 11 Oriol Ripol, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 JM Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Neil Briggs, 6 Jason White, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Dean Schofield, 3 Stuart Turner, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Roberts.

Replacements: 16 Carl Fearns, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 Brent Cockbain, 19 David Tait, 20 Chris Leck, 21 Rudi Keil, 22 Selorm Kuadey.

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Tom May, 9 Micky Young, 8 Adam Balding, 7 Brent Wilson, 6 Phil Dowson (captain), 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Rob Vickers, 1 Jon Golding.

Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Geoff Parling, 19 Russell Winter, 20 Hall Charlton, 21 Andrew Fenby, 22 Rob Miller.

Referee: Sean Davey

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