Planet Rugby

Newcastle closer to trap-door

23rd March 2012 22:16

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Tight tussle: Jamie Helleur and Chris Pennell challenge for the ball

Worcester claimed a much-needed 19-9 victory at Sixways, to leave Newcastle firmly rooted to the bottom of the Aviva Premiership table.

In a game that could have gone either way right up until the final stages, Worcester edged a very tight contest to move clear of the bottom two clubs.

It was the visitors who started the better, however Jimmy Gopperth missed an early drop goal attempt. Newcastle were looking threatening, and indeed it was the away side who took the lead after fifteen minutes - Gopperth this time making no mistake from a penalty kick.

The Falcons are rock bottom of the Aviva Premiership, but their early play suggested otherwise as they took the game to Worcester. However, they failed to make their early dominance count, and after half hour of the contest, they still only led by three points.

Worcester certainly weren't at their best in the first half, but approaching half-time, they managed to level up proceedings as Andy Goode was on target with a penalty, leaving the sides level at the break.

Newcastle again started the better in the second period, and regained the lead early on thanks to another Gopperth penalty.

Worcester responded almost immediately though, and drew level again when Goode slotted over in front of the Falcons' sticks.

Gopperth then had another chance soon after to put Newcastle back in front, but hit the post, before making no mistake a few minutes later to put the Falcons 9-6 up with half an hour to play.

It was very much nip and tuck up to this point and when Goode levelled up proceedings for the third time on the hour mark, it was far from clear which way the game would go.

The turning point came five minutes later though when Alex Groves dived over to put Worcester in the lead for the first time. Goode added the conversion, and the home side now looked to be firmly on top.

Newcastle battled to get themselves back in the contest, and simply couldn't find a way through a resilient Worcester rearguard.

And when Goode added his fourth penalty of the contest, the game was up for the Falcons... Worcester holding out to claim the victory.

The scorers:

For Worcester:
Try: Grove
Con: Goode
Pens: Goode 4

For Newcastle:
Pens: Gopperth 3

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Shaun Perry (c), 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Chris Jones, 4 James Percival, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 Bruce Douglas, 19 Craig Gillies, 20 Blair Cowan, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Ravai Fatiaki.

Newcastle: 15 Jeremy Manning ,14 Corne Uys, 13 Jamie Helleur, 12 James Fitzpatrick, 11 Alex Tait, 10 Jimmy Gopperth (c), 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Ally Hogg 7 Will Welch, 6 Taiasina Tu'ifua, 5 James Goode, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Jonny Golding.
Replacements: 16 Joe Graham, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 Ashley Wells, 19 Adriaan Fondse, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Greg Goosen, 23 Rikki Sheriffe.

Referee: Sean Davey

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