Match Report

Leicester Tigers - 0

Newcastle Falcons - 19

Wednesday 19th Oct 2022

With the clock ticking into the 80th minute the visitors were awarded a penalty 40 metres out which replacement Louie Johnson sent to the right corner.

Hooker Ollie Fletcher was driven over for the crucial try, and with time elapsed it was all down to Johnson with the conversion from the right.

The England Under-20s international held his nerve to slot the two points, giving the Falcons their first away win of the season after a pulsating evening’s entertainment.

The visitors led 15-5 at half-time and the early signs had been positive as they looked to play a high-tempo offloading game, with early forays from Iwan Stephens, George Merrick, Elliott Obatoyinbo and George Wacokecoke among others.

The Falcons’ adventure was rewarded with the game’s first try on eight minutes when turnover ball was worked wide through Tian Schoeman and Wacokecoke – Alex Tait grubbering down the right tramlines and grounding an opportunist score when the retreating Tigers defender fumbled possession just short of the try-line.

The sides were level again on 15 minutes when hooker Tom Horton collected an inside offload to score an unconverted try down the left, but Newcastle nudged themselves ahead again almost straightaway when Obatoyinbo dived in at the left corner after Michael Young worked a clever short-side from a close-range ruck.

Schoeman slotted the conversion from out wide, and he took his side’s lead into double figures just after the half-hour by slotting a penalty from 30 metres out on the right-hand side.

Opposite number Jed Walsh fired wide with an effort from 35 metres in front of the posts, leaving the Falcons 15-5 up at the interval.

Newcastle’s attacking enterprise continued after the break as Obatoyinbo beat three men with a step and break, only for his intended scoring pass to Wacokecoke to get knocked on.

Leicester were more clinical in finishing their opportunity when No.8 Sean Jansen scored from a catch-and-drive in the right corner ten minutes after the resumption – the Falcons going eight points in front shortly after when Schoeman sent over a penalty from the right.

Tigers made it a one-point game just before the hour mark when back-rower Josh Manz crashed over on a short line near the posts for a converted try, only for Newcastle to respond in style when Alex Tait collected an inside ball from Charlie Maddison to score from a well-worked line-out play.

The see-saw scoring pattern continued when a Leicester driving maul saw replacement hooker Archie Vanes scoring a converted try down the left, but when Vanes scored his second on 70 minutes his side found themselves up by six.

Newcastle handed debuts to Luke Coulston and Vereimi Qorowale in the hunt for a late winner, and it arrived with the very last play when a penalty was kicked to the right corner for Ollie Fletcher to score from the base of a driven maul.

Louie Johnson held his nerve with the crucial conversion from the right, handing his side a bonus-point victory in the process.

**Newcastle Falcons:** 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Alex Tait, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Ewan Greenlaw (Zach Kerr, 66), 11 Iwan Stephens (Vereimi Qorowale, 75), 10 Tian Schoeman (Louie Johnson, 70), 9 Michael Young (captain, Josh Barton, 53); 1 Phil Brantingham (Conrad Cade, 65), 2 Charlie Maddison, 3 Mark Tampin (Conor Kenny, 40-60), 4 Matthew Dalton, 5 George Merrick, 6 Marcus Tiffen, 7 Matt Deehan (Luke Coulston, 70), 8 Tom Marshall.

**Scorers -** Tries: Alex Tait 2, Elliott Obatoyinbo, Ollie Fletcher. Conversions: Tian Schoeman 2, Louie Johnson. Penalties: Tian Schoeman 2.

**Leicester Tigers:** 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Lachlan Shelley, 13 Jacob Cusick, 12 Joseph Woodward, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Jed Walsh, 9 Sam Edwards; 1 James Whitcombe (captain), 2 Tom Horton (Archie Vanes, 45), 3 Will Hurd, 4 Tom Manz, 5 Lewis Chessum, 6 Josh Manz, 7 Emeka Ilione, 8 Sean Jansen.

**Scorers -** Tries: Tom Horton, Sean Jansen, Josh Manz, Archie Vanes 2. Conversions: Jed Walsh 3.

**Referee:** Andrew Jackson.