Gopperth boots Falcons to victory

01st Nov 2009, 17:49

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Gopperth: Solid with the boot

Gopperth: Solid with the boot

Newcastle Falcons dug in for a 14-3 Guinness Premiership win over Worcester Warriors in difficult conditions at Kingston Park.

Newcastle Falcons dug in for a 14-3 Guinness Premiership win over Worcester Warriors in difficult conditions at Kingston Park.

Three penalties from the boot of Jimmy Gopperth and a close-range try from hooker Rob Vickers gave the Falcons their second successive Premiership win.

Both sides found the swirling wind and soaking wet pitch a problem, but it was the Falcons pack - led by Carl Hayman - that dominated a dour contest befitting of the conditions.

Newcastle hammered the Worcester front eight at three successive scrums and a rolling maul and the Warriors were grateful to escape at a wheeled scrum under their own posts, Willie Walker getting the ball into touch.

The Falcons kept up the pressure at successive five-metre scrums and, when Mark Sorenson was pulled down just short from Micky Young's inside pass, hooker Rob Vickers picked up to be driven over for the opening try in the 15th minute.

Newcastle wasted two good chances and little was seen of Worcester in attack apart from a line-out driving maul which the Falcons turned over and cleared before Gopperth kicked a 28th-minute penalty to make it 8-0.


It was one of the few good kicks of the first half with the wind making life extremely difficult, although Young did put in an excellent rolling kick into touch 10 metres from the Worcester line.

The Falcons pack squeezed a turnover for Gopperth to push a kick behind the Warriors back line and Calum MacRae was inches ahead of Rob Vickerman and Danny Williams in the in-goal area.

Gopperth added a second penalty nine minutes into the second half when Worcester strayed offside, but the Warriors saw more the ball after the break and Willie Walker kicked a much-needed penalty to get them back in the game at 11-3 in the 61st minute.

Newcastle responded strongly in the final 10 minutes and got their reward when Gopperth slotted his third penalty in the 75th minute to put the Falcons out of reach.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:
Try: Vickers
Pen: Gopperth 3

For Worcester:
Pen: Walker

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Rob Vickerman, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Micky Young, 8 Filipo Levi, 7 Will Welch, 6 Brent Wilson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 James Hudson, 3 Carl Hayman (c), 2 Rob Vickers, 1 Jon Golding.
Replacements: 16 Alex Walker, 17 Laurence Ovens, 18 Micky Ward, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Josh Afu, 21 Hall Charlton, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Gcobani Bobo.

Worcester: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Ryan Powell, 8 Pat Sanderson (c), 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Adam Black, 17 Chris Fortey, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 Will Bowley, 20 Netani Talei, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 George Crook, 23 Calum MacRae.

Referee: Sean Davey