Falcons pick up bonus point win at Welford Road

Monday 08 September 2014 Written by: Adam

Newcastle Falcons were back at Welford Road for the second time in three days this evening to take on Leicester Tigers in the A League.

A side captained by former Tiger Rob Hawkins featured a host of young talent alongside a number of more established first team players including Andy Tuilagi and Andy Saull, one of the Falcons’ two try scorers in Saturday’s game.

The Falcons A Team got off to a good start spending much of the early part of the game camped in the Tigers’ 22 and putting pressure on the home side from the off.

Despite good defence from the Tigers, the Falcons started the scoring early on after hands in a ruck from the Tigers led to a yellow card for the hosts and three points for their opponents.

Leicester were quickly back in the game though with a long range penalty which saw them even the score back to 3-3.

But less than ten minutes later the Falcons were back ahead after a huge carry from Andy Tuilagi allowed the former Leicester man to push his way over for his first score in a Falcons shirt. Rory Clegg converted the score to take the try to 3-10.

Despite Leicester’s best attempts to get back in the game the Falcons’ defence remained with their best attack of the half forced into touch by Sean Brown.

Heading into half time the Tigers were penalised once again for hands in the ruck and Clegg slotted home the resulting kick to take the Falcons ten points clear at half time.

Leicester came out for the second half fighting and with 45 minutes gone touched down for their first try of the game, but it was ruled off-side.

Heavy tackles followed from both sides as the game took on a more balanced tone, but 15 minutes into the second half the Falcons touched down again with a driving line out forced forward enabled Dan Temm to add his name to the score sheet.

With the score at 3-20 and 15 minutes still to be played the game was brought to an abrupt halt as the Welford Road floodlights cut out, and a frustrating period followed while players, coaches and spectators alike waited for play to resume.

The game finally restarted with two Tigers scrums, both dominated by the visitors with the pressure firmly back on the home side.

Ten minutes from time Dan Temm saw yellow for the Falcons after coming through a ruck illegally. The home side made the most of their extra man to run through a gap on the short side but their conversion was missed, taking the score to 8-20.

Shortly afterwards an error on the Tigers’ 5m line put pressure on once again, and with the Falcons a man down Centre Jamie Helleur stepped forward as a stand-in forward to take his place in the pack.

With five minutes to a well worked play allowed Jake Ellwood to drive over the line from short range and once again Rory Clegg added the extra points.

With time almost up and a win already in the bag the final play of the game saw Tom Penny collect a loose ball five metres from his own line and power almost the full length of the field to score the Falcons’ final try of the game, taking the closing score to 32-8 and confirming a bonus point win for the North East side.

Speaking after his team’s victory, Academy Manager Mark Laycock said: “Obviously we’re pleased with the result and the endeavour the boys showed, especially to get that try right at the death. In particular our front row did well and the front row replacements put in a good shift too, we were dominant at the scrum throughout the game.

“Despite the score line it was quite a frustrating game because we were trying to play at tempo but struggled to get going, then the floodlights went off which held things up again.

“However, we were really pleased with the way the boys stuck together and the camaraderie they showed throughout the match.

“We were in control for a lot of the game and spent the first 20 minutes camped out in their 22. We put them under loads of pressure very early on, which got us off to a great start and gave us plenty to build from.”

With the Falcons A League campaign off to the best possible start their next fixture in the competition will see them face Bristol RFC A team next Monday at Kingston Park (ko 7pm). Entry to that game is free to Season Ticket Holders, please contact the club Ticket Office for further information.

**Newcastle Falcons team**
1. Eric Fry, 2. Rob Hawkins (c), 3. Scott Wilson, 4. Glen Young, 5. Will Witty, 6. Dan Temm, 7. Andy Saull, 8. Brian Tuilagi, 9. Andy Davies, 10. Rory Clegg, 11. Danny Barnes, 12. Andy Tuilagi, 13. Jamie Helleur, 14. Sean Brown, 15. Lee Smith

16. David Nelson, 17. Jake Ellwood, 18. Mark Irving, 19. Ian Billington, 20. Conran Gleeson, 21. Dan Taylor, 22. Tom Catterick, 23. Tom Penny.

**Falcons scorers**
Tries: Andy Tuilagi, Dan Temm, Jake Ellwood, Tom Penny
Conversions: Rory Clegg (3)
Penalties: Rory Clegg (2)