Match Report

London Irish - 0

Newcastle Falcons - 15

Saturday 03rd Dec 2022

The Falcons trailed after nine minutes when full-back James Stokes wriggled over in the right corner, Irish kicking a penalty to the left corner only to have their maul halted before spinning the ball wide.

Paddy Jackson added the conversion, but the sides were level again on 14 minutes when Newcastle kicked a penalty to the right corner.

London Irish managed to withstand Newcastle’s initial maul threat, but when the ball was worked along the back-line some soft handling from Matias Moroni and the diagonal running of Adam Radwan freed Mateo Carreras for a finish in the left corner.

Brett Connon added the touchline conversion, but the visitors trailed again at the quarter mark when Jackson sent over the simplest of penalties from in front of the posts.

A big spell of goal-line defence from the Falcons kept Irish at bay as they emerged empty-handed from a barrage of close-range pick-and-goes, but a Paddy Jackson penalty with the final play of the half put the Exiles 13-7 up at the break.

Newcastle opened the second-half scoring six minutes after the resumption when Connon slotted a simple penalty from 15 metres out in front, and it got even better five minutes later.

That was when a break from Ben Stevenson and Michael Young saw a penalty awarded five metres out, and from the resulting line-out Guy Pepper was driven over for a converted try at the back of an unstoppable maul.

The home side responded when Jackson wriggled out of a tackle to score a try between the posts, converting his own score to give his team a three-point lead going into the last 25 minutes.

Lucio Cinti was next over when simple hands along the line saw the replacement scoring in the right corner on the hour mark, Newcastle rolling on their replacements in search of answers.

A succession of penalties in the home 22 threatened to give the Falcons a vital score, only for the Exiles to win a turnover penalty on their own goal-line after a barrage of Newcastle attacking carries.

The momentum turned rapidly and tellingly as Irish went up the other end and scored a bonus-point try in the left corner, Adam Coleman hitting a hard, straightening line to power over.

Tom Penny was sin-binned for a high tackle earlier in the move, and the gap proved too much for his team to bridge in what remained of the match – Irish adding a fifth try when Cinti took advantage of the extra man to score in the right corner.

**Newcastle Falcons:** 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Matias Moroni, 11 Mateo Carreras (Tom Penny, 69), 10 Brett Connon (Tian Schoeman, 73), 9 Michael Young (captain, Sam Stuart, 60); 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 George McGuigan (Jamie Blamire, 61), 3 Richard Palframan (Mark Tampin, 55), 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Callum Chick, 7 Guy Pepper (Tom Marshall, 77), 8 Carl Fearns (Matthew Dalton, 26).

**Scorers -** Tries: Mateo Carreras, Guy Pepper. Conversions: Brett Connon 2. Penalties: Brett Connon.

**London Irish:** 15 James Stokes, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Will Joseph, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White (Joe Powell, 55); 1 Facundo Gigena (Danilo Fischetti, 38), 2 Agustin Creevy (Mike Willemse, 48), 3 Lovejoy Chawatama (Oliver Hoskins, 59), 4 Api Ratuniyarawa (Adam Coleman, 55), 5 Chunya Munga (Josh Caulfield, 74), 6 Matt Rogerson (captain), 7 Juan Martin Gonzalez (Chandler Cunningham-South, 67), 8 Josh Basham.

**Scorers -** Tries: James Stokes, Paddy Jackson, Lucio Cinti 2, Adam Coleman. Conversions: Paddy Jackson 4. Penalties: Paddy Jackson 2.

**Referee:** Wayne Barnes. **Attendance:** 6,858.