Match Report

Cardiff - 10

Newcastle Falcons - 0

Saturday 17th Dec 2022

Cardiff led 26-3 at the break and opened the scoring eight minutes in when Wales and Lions wing Josh Adams raced into the left corner, having been put away by his international team-mate Taulupe Faletau.

The visitors missed out on an opportunity to double their advantage when they kicked a penalty to the corner only to be penalised for closing the gap at the resulting line-out, Newcastle losing Guy Pepper in the opening minutes to injury.

Just after the quarter mark Cardiff did reach double figures, simple hands along the line seeing Rhys Priestland score down the right-hand side before adding the conversion to his own try.

The Falcons began to establish a foot-hold in the game as the half wore on, Sebastian de Chaves stealing a line-out inside his own half and Mateo Carreras breaking the first tackle with a carry from deep.

It was via the boot that they broke the deadlock, some enterprising back play inducing a midfield offside, from which Welsh fly-half Josh Thomas slotted a penalty from 30 metres out in front.

It only served to wake Cardiff back up, with the visitors registering their third try on 34 minutes when Owen Lane collected a long, looping pass to score in the right corner – Priestland adding an impressive touchline conversion.

The Welshmen chalked up the bonus point with the final play of the half when they kicked a penalty to the right corner – Wales prop Rhys Carre coming infield to score from a back peel at the line-out.

Priestland’s conversion extended Cardiff’s lead to 26-3 at half-time, but the Falcons emerged with vigour from the changing room – only the TMO denying them a try two minutes after the resumption when Nathan Earle was judged to have a foot in touch in the act of scoring.

It did not take long for that disappointment to erode, Sam Stuart sniping over for a try between the posts as Newcastle worked the ball in-field from a line-out in the left corner.

Josh Thomas converted to take his side to double figures, but Cardiff’s dominance resumed swiftly after when they were awarded a penalty try from a collapsed maul in the right corner.

Matthew Dalton saw yellow for that incident in a further blow to home hopes, and his side trailed by 30 when Josh Adams scored his second try of the evening down the right wing.

Restored to their full compliment the Falcons pushed the envelope to find a way through, and despite kicking a pair of penalties to the corner it was Cardiff who continued the scoring when replacement Mason Grady picked off an intercept and raced 80 metres down the right to score.

It proved to be the last try on a disappointing evening for the Falcons, who now return to league action at home to Sale Sharks on Friday.

**Newcastle Falcons:** 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo (Iwan Stephens, 58), 14 Nathan Earle, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Zach Kerr, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Josh Thomas (Brett Connon, 48), 9 Sam Stuart (Josh Barton, 48); 1 Trevor Davison (Adam Brocklebank, 50), 2 Ollie Fletcher, 3 Mark Tampin (Richard Palframan, 61), 4 Sebastian de Chaves (Conrad Cade, 69), 5 Matthew Dalton, 6 Sean Robinson (captain, Josh Peters, 35), 7 Guy Pepper (Marcus Tiffen, 7), 8 Tom Marshall.

**Scorers -** Tries: Sam Stuart. Conversions: Josh Thomas. Penalties: Josh Thomas.

**Cardiff Rugby:** 15 Ben Thomas, 14 Owen Lane (Mason Grady, 60), 13 Rey Lee-Lo (Theo Cabango, 58), 12 Max Llewellyn, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Tomos Williams; 1 Rhys Carre (Brad Thyer, 56), 2 Kirby Myhill (Liam Belcher, 56), 3 Dmitri Arhip (Will Davies-King), 4 Seb Davies, 5 Rory Thornton (Teddy Williams, 56), 6 Josh Turnbull (captain), 7 Ellis Jenkins, 8 Taulupe Faletau.

**Scorers -** Tries: Josh Adams 2, Rhys Priestland, Rhys Carre, Owen Lane, Mason Grady. Conversions: Rhys Priestland 6.

**Referee:** Vivien Praderie (France). **Attendance:** 2,667.