Match Report

Leicester A - 0

Newcastle Falcons - 14

Monday 31st Dec 2018

Leading 10-7 at the interval, the Falcons pushed on in the fixture at Loughborough University to maintain the pace at the summit of their pool, with only one defeat to their name so far.

An open and free-flowing game was played at quite a pace, the Falcons enjoying an early period of pick-and-go pressure in the Tigers’ 22 and eventually opening the scoring through a Josh Hodge penalty.

Skipper Ryan Burrows grabbed Newcastle’s first try of the day when he found himself on the end of a scoring pass from a line-break.

Leicester hit back with a rolling maul try from Ross McMillan, converted by Joe Ford, which proved to the final score of the opening half as the visitors took a three-point lead into the changing rooms.

Ford tied the game up at 10-10 with a penalty during the early exchanges of the second half, and a try from returning winger Tom Varndell in his comeback game put the home side in front for the first time on 50 minutes.

But a try from Will Montgomery in the left corner, converted by Hodge nudged the Falcons back in front before the hour mark.

The third Newcastle try arrived quickly after when a scrum just inside the Tigers half saw wing Morgan Passman producing a fine finish from a set play, Hodge adding the extras from in front.

And the four-try bonus point was secured 10 minutes from time when back-rower Tom Marshall crossed the whitewash from a catch-and-drive.

Leicester scored a maul try of their own in the dying moments, but a Josh Hodge penalty with the final kick of the game ensured the Falcons A-Team remain the side to beat in the Shield’s Northern Conference.

The competition takes a break now until early April, when Newcastle host Sale Jets.

**Newcastle Falcons A:** 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Morgan Passman, 13 Pedro Bettencourt, 12 Charlie Wilson, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Joel Matavesi; 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Trevor Davison, 2 Santiago Socino, 3 Jack Payne, 4 Will Montgomery, 5 Bailey Ransom (Newcastle University), 6 Ryan Burrows (captain), 7 Connor Collett, 8 Simon Uzokwe.

**Replacements:** 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Conrad Cade (Leeds Beckett University), 18 Matty Woodward (Newcastle University), 19 Tom Marshall, 20 Guy Graham, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Josh Bragman, 23 Ruaridh Dawson.

**Leicester Tigers A:** 15 Sam Aspland-Robinson, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Charlie Thacker, 12 Tom Hardwick, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Joe Ford, 9 Jonny Law; 1 Sam Grahamslaw, 2 Ross McMillan, 3 David Feao, 4 Valentino Mapapalangi, 5 Sam Lewis, 6 Henri Lavin, 7 Taylor Gough, 8 Tommy Reffell (captain)

**Replacements:** 16 Harry Mahoney, 17 Keston Lines, 18 Facundo Gigena, 19 George Martin, 20 Thom Smith, 21 Thomas Walsh, 22 Tim Bitirim, 23 Freddie Steward.