Newcastle Falcons sealed their place in next week's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7's finals, following an emphatic 100 per cent record, in round three of the tournament, at Sale Sharks' Edgeley Park, on Friday night.
Captained by new Kiwi signing Richard Mayhew, the Falcons ran in 13 tries and conceded just four as they cruised through to the finals at the Twickenham Stoop.
The Kingston Park outfit saw off Worcester, hosts Sale and romped to a 41-7 victory over Leicester Tigers, to lift the plate in front of a travelling North-East contingent, who made the six hour round trip across the Pennines.
More than 6,000 spectators rolled through the turnstiles in Greater Manchester to witness a very entertaining evening of rugby. And it was the northeasterners, with new signings Mayhew, Ryan Shortland and Will Chudley in their ranks, who set their stall out from the off with a 15-7 triumph over Sale. The Kingston Park outfit had to come from 7-0 down at the break to see off the Sharks, thanks to tries from Shortland, Joel Hodgson and Luke Fielden.
Newcastle backed this up with a 19-10 win over Worcester, with Hodgson, Fielden and last season's Academy Player of the Season Mark Wilson touching down.
With qualification to the finals secured, the northeasterners got into the groove, putting Leicester to the sword with a comprehensive 41-7 win. Mayhew, Pilgrim (2), Alex Tait and Aaron Myers all added their names to the score-sheet.
Academy coach Mark Laycock took charge of affairs, and highlighted the Falcons' direct style as the key to their qualification for the finals.
"We started a little bit sluggish but I think we played better and better rugby to finish it off," said Laycock.
"We recognised during the week that we had a few more forwards than some of the other teams and our strength was always going to be in playing direct rugby.
"They have all shown the work they have been doing in pre-season. Some guys have put on a bit of bulk over the summer but they showed they still have their pace and they have the ball skills which make all the difference," he added.
Falcons players stayed behind after the competition to meet fans and sign autographs. Pictures are on Facebook by clicking here.
Tickets for the finals are available by calling 0844 847 2492 or please click here.
Meanwhile the Falcons next home game is the pre-season friendly against Leeds Carnegie, on Friday 19 August (kick-off 7.30pm). Entry for kids is free with adult tickets priced at £10.