Falcons A 54 Leicester A 12

Sunday 01 April 2018 Written by: Adam

The opening exchanges of the game were played out almost exclusively in the Leicester half as the Falcons hogged territory and possession, forcing a free kick at the first scrum and making hard yards through the likes of fit-again lock Tevita Cavubati, who was an enthusiastic ball-carrier.

The home side’s pressure was turned into points on eight minutes when former Tiger Maxime Mermoz scored from a close-range pick-and-go in the right corner, lock Andrew Davidson having been put through a hole by Santiago Socino’s one-handed offload to set up the ruck just inches from the Leicester line.

Brett Connon converted brilliantly from wide right, and did so again from an almost identical position on 11 minutes when Adam Radwan raced down the right to score from 30 metres out.

The third try was not long in coming, and was made in the back row as Max Davies carried hard to the 22, Callum Chick receiving possession and delivering a sublime offload out of the tackle to the onrushing Ally Hogg, who hared 20 metres to score between the posts.

Connon added the simple conversion, and even when Leicester enjoyed a rare foray into the Newcastle half, kicking a penalty to the left corner, the Falcons rose high to steal the line-out and clear the danger.

Newcastle’s four-try bonus point arrived on the 23-minute mark when a line-out in the right corner saw play worked to the midfield, Waldouck’s run setting up a ruck two metres out from which Mermoz scooped up possession to score his second of the afternoon, Connon converting.

Leicester registered their first points on 37 minutes when No 8 Fred Tuilagi scored from the scrum base, George Worth adding the conversion, but the home side had the final say of the half when Mermoz’s line break put Ben Stevenson away for a try in the left corner.

Connon’s majestic touchline conversion ensured a 35-7 interval margin, and it was only four minutes into the second half when the fly-half was sending over another sublime kick from the left, adding the extras following Ben Stevenson’s second try.

Leicester found a second try of their own when tight-head Joe Heyes snuck in down the blindside from a close range line-out to score an unconverted try in the left corner, but the Falcons hit straight back when a patient 80-metre attack ended with Hogg scoring his second try from a pick-and-go in the left corner.

Tom Penny added the extras from wide out, Newcastle having to wait until the 70th minute to get past the half-century when a quickly-tapped penalty on the Tigers’ 22 saw Joel Matavesi’s cross-kick plucked out of the air by Radwan, who did well to ground the final points of the day given his close proximity to the right touchline.

**Newcastle Falcons A-Team:** 15 Tom Penny, 14 Ben Stevenson, 13 Dominic Waldouck (captain), 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Adam Radwan, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Cameron Cowell; 1 Sami Mavinga, 2 Santiago Socino, 3 David Wilson, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 5 Andrew Davidson, 6 Max Davies, 7 Callum Chick, 8 Ally Hogg.

**Replacements:** 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 4 Nick Civetta, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 James Elliott, 22 Joel Matavesi, 23 Charlie Wilson.

**Scorers – Tries:** Maxime Mermoz 2, Ally Hogg 2, Adam Radwan 2, Ben Stevenson 2. Conversions: Brett Connon 6, Tom Penny.

**Leicester Tigers Development XV:** 15 Will Foster, 14 Aaron Tait, 13 Tom Brady, 12 Charlie Thacker, 11 Jack Antoniou, 10 George Worth (captain), 9 Will Findlay; 1 Facundo Gigena, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Joe Heyes, 4 Toby Hutchinson, 5 Joe Maksymiw, 6 Thom Smith, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Fred Tuilagi.

**Replacements:** 16 Harry Mahoney, 17 Owen Hills, 18 Chris Baumann, 19 Sam Grahamslaw, 20 Taylor Gough, 21 Ben White, 22 Jacob Fewtrell, 23 Bamidele Fadahunsi.

**Scorers -** Tries: Fred Tuilagi, Joe Heyes. Conversions: George Worth.

**Referee:** Tim Wigglesworth.