Newcastle Falcons were unable to make it back-to-back Aviva Premiership victories as they tasted defeat at Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
Gary Gold’s outfit, who picked up a crucial 19-10 triumph at home to London Irish last week, were outdone by a George Ford master-class at the heart of the Tigers backline.
George, son of Falcons defence coach Mike, was instrumental on an afternoon that the northeasterners will not want to dwell on.
The Falcons went close to crossing the whitewash after just two minutes when Jeremy Manning’s attempted long-range drop-goal fell short with Tom Bedford ready to pounce. However, the winger could not gather the ball cleanly and the hosts cleared their lines.
On six minutes the Tigers registered the first score of the game courtesy of a George Ford penalty before James Fitzpatrick was sent to the sin-bin moments later for a trip on fly-half Ford.
Richard Cockerill’s men immediately took full advantage of the extra man, scoring a well-worked try thanks to Julian Salvi. The flanker crashed through to touchdown and Ford added the extras to give his side a 10-0 lead.
With Fitzpatrick in the bin, the northeasterners may well feel aggrieved that Leicester were not reduced to 14 men when Jamie Helleur was caught clean in the face.
Jimmy Gopperth made no mistake with the resulting penalty to make it 10-3.
Newcastle rallied together, showing spirit and endeavour but it was the hosts who nailed on the next score. Outside centre Billy Twelvetrees finished off a quick move to crash over to make it 15-3.
And six minutes later Leicester added more gloss to the score-line with George Ford kicking a penalty following an infringement in the scrum.
Five minutes from the interval Horacio Agulla darted over on the angle for a 23-3 interval advantage. Ford failed to convert.
The Falcons came out for the second period keen to get the early score but it was the Tigers who landed the first blow.
Thomas Waldrom finished off a rolling maul on 42 minutes to touchdown, Ford rattled the woodwork with his conversion.
Not deterred by conceding the early second-half score, Gold’s men marched up-field to gain valuable field position. And after a series of drives in the forwards, Jonny Golding bulldozed his way over the line. Gopperth skewed his conversion wide.
Second-half replacement Taiasina Tu’ifua was sent to the bin on 65 minutes and again the Tigers took full advantage. From the scrum Waldrom picked up the ball and scooted through a gap to score. The impressive Ford made no mistake with the extras and Leicester held a commanding 33-8 lead.
Five minutes from full-time Niall Morris gathered a superb cross-field kick from Ford to waltz in at the corner. Ford converted from an acute angle for a 42-8 score.
Richard Mayhew did offer the travelling contingent reason to cheer five minutes from time as he rounded off a sublime rolling maul. Gopperth converted from bang in front of the posts to give a full-time score of 42-15.
The Falcons host Harlequins this Friday with tickets available by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Scott Hamilton, 10 George Ford, 9 James Grindal, 1 Marcos Ayerza, 2 George Chuter, 3 Logovii Mulipola, 4 Ed Slater, 5 George Skivington, 6 Steve Mafi, 7 Julian Salvi, 8 Thomas Waldrom
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Julian White, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Craig Newby, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Jeremy Staunton, 23 Niall Morris
Newcastle: 15 Greg Goosen, 14 Tom Bedford, 13 Jamie Helleur, 12 James Fitzpatrick, 11 Jeremy Manning, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Chris Pilgrim, 1 Grant Shiells, 2 Rob Vickers, 3 Euan Murray, 4 Andrew van der Heijden, 5 Tim Swinson, 6 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch, 8 Mark Wilson
Replacements: 16 Michael Mayhew, 17 Jonny Golding, 18 Ashley Wells, 19 Taiasina Tu’ifua, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Rikki Sheriffe, 23 Joel Hodgson
Referee: Greg Garner (RFU)