European Rugby Challenge Cup Recap

Tuesday 12 January 2016 Written by: Adam

Newcastle Falcons return to European Rugby Challenge Cup action this Saturday, with a visit to the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi to take on Enisei STM in round five in the competition’s pool stages.

Moved from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, the Falcons’ first ever match in Russia will be the second meeting between the sides since their round two encounter at Kingston Park Stadium.

Just a week earlier the Falcons had kicked off their 2015/16 campaign away to Top 14 side Brive in France, where the English side found themselves on the wrong end of a 13-9 scoreline despite three successful penalty kicks from Fly Half Tom Catterick.

The following weekend saw a more positive result when Enisei-STM arrived at Kingston Park Stadium for their first ever game on English soil.

It proved a tough trip for the twice Russian champions, although for Newcastle the game proved an impressive kick start to their European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign, the North East side scoring 55 points to Enisei’s seven.

A brace of tries for man of the match Zach Kibirige along with a hat trick from that night’s captain Mark Wilson and four scores from Winger Marcus Watson saw the Falcons lift themselves to second place in pool one of the competition, with only pool leaders Connacht still to play.

Round three of the competition saw the two sides meet however, as the Falcons travelled to Galway where they found themselves in front of a loud and passionate Irish crowd.

Despite a try from Taione Vea and two kicks from Craig Willis, the Falcons had to reconcile themselves with a 25-10 defeat from the Pro 12 side, but a surprise loss for Brive in Russia meant that the Falcons retained their second place position in pool one.

The return fixtures the following weekend saw the French side regain the upper hand against Enisei, but, not to be outdone, the Falcons also picked up their second win of the competition.

A brace of penalty tries combined with a score from Argentine international Belisario Agulla and a further two tries from Marcus Watson – the latter cementing his place at the top of the competition’s try scoring table – to give the Falcons a 29-5 win over their Irish opponents.

As they prepare for the first European fixtures of 2016, the Falcons still sit at second in pool one of the competition, two points behind Connacht and level with Brive but for a 33 points advantage after two high scoring wins.

With the winner of each pool progressing into the quarter finals of the competition alongside the top three runners up across all five groups, the Falcons are still in with a strong change of qualifying depending on their next two results.

Following this weekend’s trip to Sochi, which will be [streamed live online][1], the Falcons will welcome Brive to Kingston Park Stadium on Saturday 23rd January for their final pool one fixture.

Tickets for that game are on sale now priced from £15 for adults and £7.50 for juniors, and are available [online][2], in person from the Kingston Park Stadium Box Office or by calling the Falcons’ 24 hour Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060.