Match Report

Newcastle Falcons - 31

Harlequins - 40

Saturday 10th Sep 2022 | KO 15:00 | Kingston Park

Leading 17-14 at half-time, late tries from Alex Dombrandt and Joe Marchant proved the difference on a day when both clubs paid pre-match respects to Her Majesty The Queen.

Harlequins had the first scoring opportunities of the game with a pair of penalties ten metres out in front of the posts, but their decision to call for the scrum on both occasions saw them leaving empty-handed.

The Falcons made the most of their opening chance when George McGuigan was driven over for a try from a maul in the right corner, the home side having kicked a penalty to touch.

TMO Claire Hodnett denied the Londoners a try after ruling a knock-on in front of the posts, but there was no such reprieve two minutes later when quick footwork from Tyrone Green saw the South African full-back scoring near the posts.

Tommy Allan’s conversion put his side two points in front, and they added another seven to the buffer before the half-hour when prop Wilco Louw ploughed over from close range for a second converted try.

The Falcons levelled the try-count, if not the score-line, on 32 minutes when Adam Radwan scorched a path down the right-hand tramlines from turnover ball, the winger showing incredible pace to score from inside his own half.

Connon’s touchline conversion bounced back off the post to leave his side down by four, but Newcastle’s scrum was as good as a try just before half-time when Harlequins opted for a set-piece from a penalty ten metres out, only to be shoved off their own put-in.

That momentum continued right up until the break, with a Nathan Earle try giving the Falcons a 17-14 half-time lead.

The former Harlequins winger sped 80 metres on the intercept for a try down the left-hand side, having shown great skill to pick the ball off his bootlaces, Connon adding the extras with the final kick of the half.

It was the visitors who drew first blood after the interval, kicking a penalty to the right corner from which hooker George Head was driven over for a converted try.

Centre Lennox Anwanyu extended their lead to 11 points when he was quickest to a loose ball down the right to register their bonus point try, with Allan once again converting.

The Falcons chalked up a four-try bonus point of their own on the hour mark when McGuigan scored from a maul in the right corner.

Connon slotted the touchline conversion to cut the deficit to four, and he did so again on 66 minuts to hand his team the lead when Logovi’i Mulipola barrelled over the try-line from a close-range carry down the left.

Quins struck the killer blow, however, with four minutes to go when No 8 Alex Dombrandt wriggled out of a tackle to score down the left, Joe Marchant denying them a second bonus point with the very last play.

**Newcastle Falcons:** 15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Pete Lucock (George Wacokecoke, 75), 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Brett Connon (Tian Schoeman, 75), 9 Josh Barton (Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 55); 1 Phil Brantingham (Logovi’i Mulipola, 55), 2 George McGuigan (Charlie Maddison, 75), 3 Trevor Davison (Mark Tampin, 65), 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves (George Merrick, 65), 6 Sean Robinson (Tom Marshall, 75), 7 Jamie Blamire, 8 Will Welch (captain).

**Scorers -** Tries: George McGuigan 2, Adam Radwan, Nathan Earle, Logovi’i Mulipola. Conversions: Brett Connon 3.

**Harlequins:** 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Nick David, 13 Luke Northmore (Joe Marchant, 40), 12 Lennox Anyanwu, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Lewis Gjaltema; 1 Joe Marler (Joe Marler, 52), 2 George Head (Jack Musk, 52), 3 Wilco Louw (Will Collier, 52), 4 George Hammond, 5 Irne Herbst (Dino Lamb, 68), 6 Jack Kenningham (Will Evans, 30), 7 Tom Lawday, 8 Alex Dombrandt (captain).

**Scorers -** Tries: Tyrone Green, Wilco Louw, George Head, Lennox Anyanwu, Alex Dombrandt, Joe Marchant. Conversions: Tommy Allan 5.

**Referee:** Luke Pearce. **Attendance:** 5,025.