Welsh lose crucial Falcons clash

Date published: October 11 2014

It’s only October and already London Welsh look destined for relegation following their 23-3 defeat at home to Newcastle Falcons.

It’s only October and already London Welsh look destined for relegation following their 23-3 defeat at home to Newcastle Falcons.

Newcastle claimed their first away win of the season at the Kassam Stadium

The Falcons last away success came in October 2013, but Dean Richards’ men put that unwanted record to bed. First-half tries from Adam Powell from Mark Wilson put the visitors in control.

Falcons ended a 20-game losing streak in the Aviva Premiership with their 29-24 victory at home to Exeter last weekend and they picked up where they left off against a poor Exiles’ side.

Juan Pablo Socino was in inspired form with ball in hand as the Falcons put some daylight between themselves and London Welsh at the bottom of the table.

Newcastle failed to reach the same heights in their second-half performance as in the first, yet they still managed to add a further try through Ruki Tipuna to wrap up the game.

Newcastle went ahead after only two minutes after diminutive fly-half Socino scoring an early penalty for the visitors. The Exiles forced their way back on to level terms on five minutes thanks to a penalty from Olly Barkley, and the hosts were playing with real confidence.

For all of their passion and enthusiasm in defence though, London Welsh, who have conceded at least 40 points in each of their last three Premiership fixtures, seemed to not have the necessary nous to break down their opponents, whereas Newcastle’s first attack of any note lead to Powell scoring his side’s opening try of the game – but Socino missed the resulting kick at goal.

There was a suggestion of a knock-on by Dom Barrow in the build-up to the try but referee Wayne Barnes saw no reason to disallow the score.

Sinoti Sinoti thought he was going to score Newcastle’s second try of the first-half just minutes later as he chased through a Socino kick but Nathan Morris got back to save a struggling London Welsh.

Barrow was at the forefront of Newcastle’s next score on 29 minutes; his drive caused London Welsh indiscipline at the breakdown and from the resulting penalty Socino converted an easy penalty in front of the posts.

The Exiles got lucky just after the half-hour mark as number eight Chris Hala’ufia was lucky to avoid a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Newcastle prop Scott Wilson – it prompted an altercation between the two sides.

They also avoided further punishment on the scoreboard as Newcastle pivot Socino missed the resulting penalty, watching on as his kick needlessly struck the woodwork.

On the stroke of half-time Newcastle scored a superb team drive; after going through multiple phases and driving the ball down the left, the ball was switched to the opposite side for Mark Wilson to score – replacement Rory Clegg missed the ensuing conversion to leave the score 16-3 at the break.

London Welsh increased the tempo after the break and were unfortunate not to score a try of their own in the opening minutes as second-row Matt Corker failed to get the ball down over the line.

Newcastle all but made the game safe on 51 minutes as they scored their third try of the afternoon to make the score 23-3;

Scrum-half Tipuna collected the ball on the shoulder of Wilson to score almost unopposed – Clegg added the extras off the kicking tee.

London Welsh dominated territory and possession for much of the remainder of the second-half; going through phase after phase but the Newcastle Falcons’ defence held firm.

After a series of penalties in the Newcastle 22; Falcons flanker Wilson was yellow carded with 12 minutes to play, handing London Welsh the late initiative.

Sadly the newly-promoted club lacked attacking ideas and despite being camped in the Newcastle 22 for more than ten minutes at a time with a man advantage; they were unable to reduce the arrears.

The scorers:

For Welsh:
Pen: Barkley

For Newcastle:
Tries: Powell, Wilson, Tipuna
Con: Clegg
Pens: Socino 2
Yellow Card: Wilson

London Welsh: 15 Seb Jewell, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 Nic Reynolds, 12 Tom May (c), 11 Nick Scott, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Chris Hala’ufia, 7 Richard Thorpe, 6 Pete Browne, 5 James Down, 4 Matt Corker, 3 Taione Vea, 2 Nathan Morris, 1 Pablo Henn
Replacements: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Shane Cahill, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Ben Pienaar, 21 Rob Lewis, 22 Tristan Roberts, 23 Rhys Crane.

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Noah Cato, 10 Juan Pablo Socino, 9 Ruki Tupina, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Dom Barrow, 4 Calum Green, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Kieran Brookes
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19 Josh Furno, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Tom Catterick

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Stuart Terheege & Nigel Carrick
TMO: Geoff Warren