Match Report

Wasps - 0

Newcastle Falcons - 8

Tuesday 20th Sep 2022

The hosts led 21-0 at half-time and registered the first score of the evening after just five minutes, kicking a lineout to the right corner and working the ball infield from where Kieran Curran ploughed over from a pick-and-go.

Former Falcon Will Haydon-Wood added the simple conversion from in front, Newcastle growing into the game by winning a string of penalties, only for Wasps’ defence to hold firm.

The home side doubled their lead midway through the opening half, with a similar pattern to their first try as a penalty was kicked to the corner, a maul was worked infield and the resulting pick-and-go brought a try for Greg Fisilau.

Haydon-Wood again slotted the conversion, his side trying and failing to add a third try from a tap penalty five metres out as they were penalised for sealing off at the resulting ruck.

That third try eventually arrived just after the half-hour, again from a lineout in the left corner as hooker Michael van Vuuren scored from a driving maul.

Haydon-Wood’s conversion extended Wasps’ lead to 21-0, and that was how it remained at the break as Newcastle enjoyed a spell of red-zone pressure without managing to make it count on the scoreboard.

The Falcons changed their entire front row at half-time and emerged with renewed gusto for the start of the second 40, winning repeated penalties in the home half and applying forward pressure.

But it was from the backs that the try eventually came on 51 minutes, Nathan Greenwood marking his debut with a try when the 18-year-old received a pass from Zach Kerr 35 metres out down the right – Jeremy Civil having opened the gap with a back-hand offload.

Louie Johnson added the conversion from wide out on the right, but Wasps had the four-try bonus point just before the hour mark when they kicked a penalty to the right corner and Van Vuuren once again steered a maul over the try-line.

Replacement Harry Craven followed that up with a more expansive try three minutes later when the replacement collected an inside offload to score their fifth converted try.

Greenwood continued to be a bright spark in attack for the Falcons with a string of runs in broken-field, chipping and chasing down the right and narrowly missing out on a second try.

Wasps were reduced to 14 men when Haydon-Wood was sin-binned for a mid-air shot on Greenwood under a high bomb, and the Falcons found a second try with five minutes to go when lock Josh Peters scored on his competitive debut from a close-range pick and go.

Johnson’s conversion reduced the arrears to 21, but the visitors managed to have the final say when Iwan Stephens scored a converted try in the left corner from a quick transfer through the hands.

**Newcastle Falcons:** 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo (Rory Ward, 68), 14 Nathan Greenwood, 13 Zach Kerr, 12 Louie Johnson, 11 Iwan Stephens, 10 Josh Thomas (Jeremy Civil, 20), 9 James Blackett (Ben Douglas, 55); 1 Conrad Cade (Mark Dormer, 40), 2 Charlie Maddison (captain, Ollie Fletcher, 40), 3 Conor Kenny (Richard Palframan, 40), 4 George Merrick (Will Hopes, 55), 5 Josh Peters, 6 Matt Deehan (George Bennett-Teare, 48), 7 Marcus Tiffen, 8 Tom Marshall.

**Scorers -** Tries: Nathan Greenwood, Josh Peters, Iwan Stephens. Conversions: Louie Johnson 3.

**Wasps:** 15 Olly Hartley, 14 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, 13 Reikiti Maasi-White, 12 Will Simonds, 11 Luke Mehson, 10 Will Haydon-Wood (captain), 9 Francois Hougaard (Harry Craven, 40); 1 Zac Nearchou (Archie McArthur, 36), 2 Michael van Vuuren, 3 Elliot Millar-Mills, 4 Cam Dodson, 5 Theo Vukasinovic, 6 Fyn Brown, 7 Kieran Curran, 8 Greg Fisilau (James Tunney, 40).

**Scorers -** Tries: Kieran Curran, Greg Fisilau, Michael van Vuuren 2, Harry Craven. Conversions: Will Haydon-Wood 5.

**Referee:** Andrew Jackson.