Match Report

– - 17

Newcastle Falcons -

Tuesday 06th Jan 2015

A total of twelve tries were scored amidst a fast-paced and thrilling game which provided an excellent advert for the Aviva A League competition.

It was the Falcons that got straight into the action, opening the scoring just five minutes in when Rory Clegg capitalised on a penalty conceded for a high tackle but just minutes later the home side levelled with another penalty at the opposite end of the field.

Storm’s first try of the game came shortly afterwards when a Falcons kick was charged down by Joubert who was able to dive over in the corner to take the score to 8-3.
A forced penalty by the Falcons moments later allowed Clegg to add another three points to his team’s tally. But as the action moved downfield and Falcons conceded a penalty, losing Will Witty to the sin bin, Storm crossed over once again with another try in the corner of the field from Barrington.

A Falcons kick from the restart fell into Storm hands and the home side chased their own ball up the field for their third try of the night directly under the posts, converted to take the score to 20-6.

Ten minutes later ill-discipline from Storm led to a series of Falcons scrums in quick succession, the third leading to a penalty which allowed Chris York to barge over the line for the visitors’ first try of the game.

Saints struck back two minutes later with their bonus point try, once again going straight under the posts to guarantee an easy conversion two minutes from half time.

But scoring for the first half wasn’t over yet, the Falcons gained a line out 10 metres out and putting in a big attack which saw Alex Rogers cross over for their third score of the game and setting the score at 27-18 at the break.

The second half continued in much the same frenetic and evenly matched manner, Storm opening the scoring this time with a try on the left wing. A sin binning for Mike Hankin allowed the Falcons to capitalise as Rob Hawkins dived over for the visitors.

Storm’s return to 15 men was short-lived when captain Maro Itoje was shown yellow for an infringement at the scrum, giving the Falcons a penalty try which was converted to draw the score level at 32 all.

A drop goal from Phil Godman three minutes later allowed the visitors to take the lead for the first time in the game, but a Falcons’ victory wasn’t to be.

Despite a huge defensive effort from the Falcons, Saracens took the advantage from a scrum and made their way across the pitch to score under the posts before picking up their seventh try of the game, a converted penalty try in the dying minutes, booking their place in the Aviva A League final.

Speaking after the game, Falcons Academy Manager and A Team Coach Mark Laycock said: “The effort and commitment from the lads was absolutely fantastic, they definitely upped their game for a knockout rugby match.

“We’re all a bit gutted not to have won because we did have the chances but fair play to Saracens, who are a strong outfit.”

Saracens Storm: 15. Ben Ransom; 14. Mike Ellery, 13. Tim Streather, 12. Thretton Palamo, 11. Catalin Fercu; 10. Nils Mordt, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Richard Barrington, 2. Jared Saunders, 3. Biyi Alo, 4. Maro Itoje (c), 5. Nick de Jager, 6. Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 7. Matt Hankin, 8. Ernst Joubert.
Replacements: 16. Josh Taylor, 17. Jack Culverhouse, 18. Ben Feathertone. 19. Jack Tredrea, 20. Kennett O’Neill, 21. Tom Whiteley, 22. Max Wilkins, 23. George Perkins, 24. Max Malins.

Newcastle Falcons A: 15. Brett Connon, 14. Pete Weightman, 13. Tom Penny, 12. Rory Clegg, 11. Dan Temm, 10. Phil Godman, 9. Andy Davies; 1.Alex Rogers, 2. Rob Hawkins, 3. Mark Irving, 4. Scott MacLeod, 5. Will Witty, 6. Ben Morris, 7. Andy Saull (c), 8. Chris York.
Replacements: 16. Andrew Dunn 17. Adam Brocklebank 18. Harry Snowden 19. Brian Tuilagi 20. Dan Taylor 21. James Christie,