Priceless victory for Newcastle

Date published: February 12 2016

Newcastle Falcons claimed a priceless 26-14 win over Leicester Tigers at Kingston Park on Friday in a result that moves them up to tenth place.

First-half tries from Simon Hammersley and Adam Powell were recorded as the bottom placed side took a 20-9 advantage into the break.

Laurence Pearce gave Tigers hope late in the second-half, but Falcons kept a 12-point lead to record a massive victory.

With Leicester 22 points clear of Newcastle at the start of play, nobody could have predicted the first 40 minutes that was about to be served up.

It all started relatively well for Tigers as they broke into an early six point lead. That came courtesy of a couple of Freddie Burns penalty, the first coming from the 10 metre line almost immediately from kick-off.

The Leicester kicker doubled that lead a quarter of an hour in from 25 metres, as the hosts failed to get properly started.

But the remaining 25 minutes of the first-half were probably as well have Falcons have performed all term. Two minutes later, the game turned right around. It came again from the restart, this time with Hammersley breaking from the whistle. Andy Goode's conversion took the hosts into a one point advantage, though that was soon eradicated.

Tigers put together a wealth of pressure, but had to settle for a penalty, which Burns put through for the third time.

This was a half that belonged to the hosts though. Goode kicked his side back ahead after a foul on the 22, and stretched it further with another three pointer. And though a four-point lead at the break would have been a fine reward, it got much better with a second converted try. Powell got this one, with Falcons breaking in numbers from a line out and after patient work agonisingly close to the line, the centre grounded.

Goode's conversion saw Falcons take a 20-9 lead into half-time at Kingston Park.

Goode followed on where he left off with two more chances to stretch Falcons' advantage. The first he missed, dragging his kick wide. The second he had no such problem with, as the home fans were on their feet again in celebrating a 14-point lead.

Tigers didn't give up on the chance of a comeback, attacking the corners and searching for a gap to fit through in order to restart their hopes of bouncing back from a dire 15 minute spell.

And they did have hope through the first try of the second-half. It came from Pearce, the recipient of some good handling, and he crashed down. Burns missed the conversion however, with the deficit still nine.

Newcastle wisely kept possession as the clock ran down, defending their lead well and putting another dent in Tigers hopes of league success this year. And the hosts finished in fine style, Craig Willis sending through three more points for a memorable 26-14 victory.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:
Tries: Hammersley, Powell
Con: Goode 2
Pen: Goode 3, Willis

For Leicester:
Try: Pearce
Pen: Burns 3

Newcastle: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Marcus Watson, 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 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Alesana Tuilagi, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Craig Willis, 23 Juan Pablo Socino

Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Mathew Tait (c), 12 Matt Smith, 11 Gonzalo Camacho, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Riccardo Brugnara, 18 Logovi'i Mulipola, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Oli Bryant, 23 Jack Roberts

Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden, Kelvin Stewart
TMO: David Sainsbury