Match Report

Rotherham - 10

Newcastle Falcons - 0

Saturday 19th Aug 2017

Newcastle began the game showing plenty of attacking ambition, the Takulua-Flood half-back axis looking promising as a ball-in-hand approach delivered plenty of possession for the men in black.

That was demonstrated when Belisario Agulla ran the ball out of his own 22 in a move which involved nice handling from summer signing Ryan Burrows, while a dominant home scrum delivered an early penalty in prime position.

On that occasion Newcastle failed to convert as a driving maul was worked infield, but they had no such worries on 10 minutes when captain Will Welch crossed for a try in the right corner after a succession of simple passes saw Maxime Mermoz playing him in.

Flood converted from wide right despite a difficult cross-wind, and did so again from the opposite wing five minutes later when quick hands in tight spaces saw Simon Hammersley diving in for the second try.

Lock Will Witty was among the many forwards to the fore as Newcastle’s pack showed their handling ability, but it was from the backs that the third try came on 28 minutes when Glen Young’s line-out take and Flood’s run ended with Adam Radwan chasing down a grubber to the left corner to score.

Try number four owed much to Radwan’s stepping ability and pace, when Agulla and Flood’s long passes freed him down the left. The teenager offloaded to Ruaridh Dawson, and even when the scrum-half’s attempted offload went to ground Ben Sowrey was there to dot down against his former club.

Flood’s conversion took the score to 26-0, Rotherham chipping seven back with the final play of the half when a line-break down the left allowed Drew Cheshire to score on a supporting line out wide.

Newcastle rang the changes at the interval as Josh Matavesi, Cameron Cowell, Diogo Ferreira and Craig Willis all entered the fray, the re-jigged back-line firing straightaway when Radwan sped 50 metres for his second try on an arcing run to the posts.

Willis slotted the extras, Newcastle continuing to find points on 50 minutes when midfield interplay put Cameron Cowell away for a try down the left.

Josh Matavesi was next over for his first try in Falcons colours, a five-metre scrum seeing the Fiji centre offering a huge dummy which was bought by almost the entire Titans back line before reaching out and grounding the ball.

The Titans never threw in the towel and, with Burrows in the sin bin, they found a second try when replacement Ifereimi Boladau burst over from the scrum base, Caolan Ryan converting.

Cowell sped in for his second try to end a quiet period for the Falcons, the former England 7s man pinning back his ears and beating the visiting defence for pace from 60 metres.

Uzokwe added the cherry to the top of the cake when the barnstorming flanker burst through an attempted tackle, Willis converting again on a bumper day for the home side.

**Newcastle Falcons:** 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Belisario Agulla, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Adam Radwan, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sonatane Takulua; 1 Trevor Davison, 2 Ben Sowrey, 3 Jon Welsh, 4 Will Witty, 5 Glen Young, 6 Harrison Orr, 7 Will Welch (captain), 8 Ryan Burrows

**Replacements:** Scott Lawson, Diogo Ferreira, Adam Brocklebank, Calum Green, Nick Civetta, Ruaridh Dawson, Craig Willis, Cameron Cowell, Max Davies, Simon Uzokwe, James Elliott, Josh Matavesi, Charlie Wilson.

**Falcons scorers -** Tries: Will Welch, Simon Hammersley, Adam Radwan 2, Ben Sowrey, Cameron Cowell, Josh Matavesi, Cameron Cowell, Simon Uzokwe. Conversions: Toby Flood 3, Craig Willis 5.

**Rotherham Titans:** 15 Will Thomas , 14 Wesley Hamilton, 13 Luke Peters, 12 Joe Barker, 11 Drew Cheshire, 10 Lee Millar, 9 Rhodri Davies; 1 Toby Williams, 2 Charlie Maddison, 3 Matt Shields, 4 James Lasis, 5 Byron Hodge, 6 Dan Grange, 7 Tom Calladine (captain), 8 Tom Burns.

**Replacements:** Luke Cole, Jonny Murphy, Nathanial Opedo, Tom Williams, Andrew Foster, Rob Louw, Matt Postlethwaite, Guy Borrowdale, Ifereimi Boladau, Francesco Vieira, Caolan Ryan, Jamie Cooke, Yiannis Loizias.

**Rotherham scorers -** Tries: Drew Cheshire, Iferimi Boladau. Conversions: Lee Millar, Caolan Ryan.

**Referee:** John Meredith

**Assistant referees:** Matt Daubney, Ben Blain