Match Report

Harlequins - 40

Newcastle Falcons - 12

Saturday 04th Nov 2023 | KO 15:00 | Twickenham Stoop

Newcastle Falcons endured a frustrating afternoon in the capital on Saturday as Harlequins took all five Gallagher Premiership points.

The visitors trailed 21-0 at half-time but had began the game with gusto, enjoying territory and possession with a string of attacks in the home half.

Returning Argentina centre Matias Moroni was bundled into touch a metre out from the right corner after a period of patient phase play, and a subsequent spell of pressure earned a penalty from 30 metres out which was pushed wide of the posts.

Falcons hooker Bryan Byrne was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on near his own posts on 15 minutes, and from the resulting penalty Harlequins made the extra man count as hooker Sam Riley was driven over from a maul in the right corner.

Jarrod Evans slotted the conversion, and the Welshman was doing so again ten minutes later when a sequence of close-quarter offloads teed up Italian international Dino Lamb for a try between the posts.

Magical footwork from returning Puma Mateo Carreras created a chance out of nothing for Newcastle as he powered and stepped his way past four defenders in a crowded midfield, but his chip ahead was regathered by the home side as the attack fizzled out.

The attacks kept on coming from the Northeasterners as Matias Orlando twice got into the home 22 without return, but Harlequins were more clinical in the red-zone as full-back Nick David wriggled out of a tackle for their third converted try.

That left them 21-0 up at the half-time whistle, and the Londoners wrapped up the bonus point eight minutes after the resumption when skipper Alex Dombrandt collected an inside offload down the left-hand side to score their fourth converted try.

Louis Lynagh leapt in at the left corner for number five after quick hands freed the winger, and even when the Falcons kicked a penalty to the right corner their efforts were in vain as they were held up over the Londoners’ try-line.

Harlequins were reduced to 14 men when open-side Will Evans was sin-binned for killing a ruck in his own 22 from an Orlando break, but the frustration kept coming for the Falcons as they knocked on a metre out from the resulting play.

The men in green finally got some rewards for their pressure just after the hour mark, when following the denial of a try by the TMO they earned a five-metre scrum, from which their dominant set-piece was worthy of a penalty try.

Quins bounced back with a spectacular try from Tyrone Green as he acrobatically grounded from a cross-field kick to the right corner, with England’s Marcus Smith coming on to slot the touchline conversion.

Newcastle at least found a riposte when Jamie Blamire scored from the back of a line-out, but the result by that stage was a formality.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni (Zach Kerr, 40), 12 Matias Orlando (Brett Connon, 68), 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Rory Jennings, 9 Hugh O’Sullivan (Sam Stuart, 49); 1 Adam Brocklebank (Phil Brantingham, 54), 2 Bryan Byrne (Jamie Blamire,46), 3 Mark Tampin (Eduardo Bello, 46), 4 Pedro Rubiolo, 5 Kiran McDonald (John Hawkins, 54), 6 Sam Cross (Josh Bainbridge, 66), 7 Guy Pepper, 8 Callum Chick (captain).

Scorers – Tries: Penalty try, Jamie Blamire.

Harlequins: 15 Nick David, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Oscar Beard, 12 Lennox Anyanwu (Bryn Bradley,67), 11 Louis Lynagh, 10 Jarrod Evans (Marcus Smith, 55), 9 Will Porter; 1 Fin Baxter (Joe Marler, 55), 2 Sam Riley (Nathan Jibulu, 66), 3 Will Collier (Dillon Lewis, 55), 4 Joe Launchbury (James Chisholm, 69), 5 George Hammond, 6 Dino Lamb, 7 Will Evans, 8 Alex Dombrandt (captain).

Scorers – Tries: Sam Riley, Dino Lamb, Nick David, Alex Dombrandt, Louis Lynagh, Tyrone Green. Conversions: Jarrod Evans 4, Marcus Smith.

Referee: Jack Makepeace.