Falcons 17 Glasgow 27

Friday 15 April 2022

Newcastle Falcons’ EPCR Challenge Cup journey came to an end on Good Friday as a clinical Glasgow Warriors side showed their finishing power in this round-of-16 clash at Kingston Park Stadium.

The hosts were 19-3 down at half-time and trailed after four minutes, a series of offloads down the right tramlines seeing hooker Johnny Matthews scoring a try, converted from wide out by fly-half Ross Thompson.

The Scots crossed for their second try just three minutes later when simple hands along the line saw Kyle Steyn diving in at the left corner, Thompson this time pulling wide with his touchline conversion attempt.

Newcastle finally built a meaningful attack on 14 minutes when Adam Radwan chipped and chase down the right-hand side, his side earning a penalty and kicking it to the corner without return when George Wacokecoke’s attempted offload to Ben Stevenson failed to stick in contact.

The Falcons were at least enjoying scrum dominance, winning a penalty and free kick at the set-piece in the opening quarter, and they had their first points of the game on 27 minutes when Brett Connon slotted a penalty from the left following a high tackle 30 metres out.

But the Warriors were scoring in multiples of seven, registering their third try when full-back Josh McKay collected an offload five metres out to score a converted try between the posts.

That left his side 19-3 up at the interval, Glasgow enjoying some more red-zone pressure in the early exchanges of the second half but finding their efforts repelled by some meaty midfield tackling from the Falcons.

But Newcastle grew into the half, earning four successive penalties in the Glasgow 22 and turning them into points on 52 minutes when a quick tap saw Will Montgomery ploughing over from a close-range pick-and-go in the left corner.

Connon added the touchline conversion to reduce the arrears to nine, but the Warriors built an unassailable buffer just before the hour mark when a quick transfer through the hands and a step infield brought Kyle Steyn his second try in the right corner.

Thompson added a simple penalty to put the visitors a further three points in front, but there was the threat of a comeback when replacement fly-half Joel Hodgson ghosted over for a 66th-minute try from a lovely show-and-go five metres out, Hodgson converting his own score.

The visitors fired wide with a long-range penalty attempt from Thompson and then kicked a penalty to the corner only to throw not-straight at the ensuing line-out, but their ten-point lead proved sufficient to secure safe passage to the quarter-finals.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Penny, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke (Iwan Stephens, 62), 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Brett Connon (Joel Hodgson, 58), 9 Louis Schreuder (Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 77); 1 Adam Brocklebank (Kyle Cooper, 58), 2 George McGuigan (Jamie Blamire, 58), 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson (Will Montgomery, 39), 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Josh Basham, 7 Will Welch (captain), 8 Freddie Lockwood.

Scorers – Tries: Will Montgomery, Joel Hodgson. Conversions: Brett Connon, Joel Hodgson. Penalties: Brett Connon.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Kyle Steyn, 1O Ross Thompson, 9 Ali Price; 1 Oli Kebble (Jamie Bhatti, 40), 2 Johnny Matthews, 3 Simon Berghan, 4 Scott Cummings (Rob Harley, 39), 5 Richie Gray, 6 Rory Darge, 7 Thomas Gordon, 8 Ryan Wilson (captain, Ally Miller, 55).

Scorers – Tries: Johnny Matthews, Kyle Steyn 2, Josh McKay. Conversions: Ross Thompson 2. Penalties: Ross Thompson.

Referee: Tual Trainini (France). Attendance: 4,121.

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