Aviva Premiership preview – London Irish

Thursday 07 January 2016 Written by: Adam

Newcastle Falcons head to the Madjeski Stadium in Reading this weekend as they look to build on a creditable 19-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bath Rugby last weekend.

Showing great composure in poor weather conditions and in front of the biggest Kingston Park crowd of the season to date, the result allowed the Falcons to take a step towards closing the gap to a congested Aviva Premiership mid table.

Last season’s encounters were both narrow affairs that went the way of the Exiles after slow starts from the Falcons. Those fine lines are the established pattern for this match up, with 11 of the last 18 being decided by a score line difference in single figures.

At Kingston Park, in the first home game of the season, Falcons fans got their first glimpse of the club’s new attacking style as they outscored Irish three tries to two, but had to content themselves with a losing bonus point thanks to the boot of Shane Geraghty.

Away at the Madjeski, the Falcons fought back from a 19-6 half time deficit to an agonising 22-21 loss, a second half penalty from Chris Noakes proving decisive in denying Newcastle what would have been a hard fought four points.

While Irish have endured a slow start to the season so far, they have shown in recent weeks how effectively they can use home advantage, with wins against Agen, Edinburgh and Northampton secured in their last three games at the Madjeski.

Both sides will announce their teams for Sunday’s fixture, which is live on BT Sport, at Noon on Friday.

The Falcons club house, The Tap & Tackle will be open and screening the game while for those unable to watch, BBC Radio Newcastle will be providing live radio coverage via 1458 AM, DAB digital radio and online.

Live text commentary will be carried by the official Falcons twitter feed and official supporters app while highlights of the game will feature on ITV’s Aviva Premiership Rugby highlights show on Sunday evening.