Newcastle Falcons earned safe passage through to the semi-finals of the Championship Cup after recording their 20th successive victory, beating London Scottish at Kingston Park Stadium.
Leading 14-0 at half time and adding to their score after the break, they will now host a semi-final on Friday April 17 pending changes for TV, with the RFU due to confirm the identity of their opponent on Monday at 12 noon.
It took Newcastle just five minutes to open the scoring, Callum Chick accepting a scoring pass from Sinoti Sinoti on a simple two-on-one down the left after Adam Radwan had prised open the defence.
Toby Flood converted magnificently from the left touchline into the teeth of a fierce wind, and was doing so from the other side of the field just five minutes later when his perfectly-weighted grubber kick allowed Radwan to score his team’s second converted try.
This early flurry of points belied the scrappy half-hour which was to follow – forgivable in the conditions as the wind and rain made tricky work for all 30 players.
Sinoti Sinoti enjoyed a foray down the left after being played in by Gareth Owen and Toby Flood, only for his inside pass to be knocked on in contact.
Simon Uzokwe tried a pick-and-go from the back of a ruck on the London Scottish 22 but his team were penalised at the subsequent ruck, London Scottish’s best opportunity being a lineout five metres out which was overthrown and turned over.
That left the Falcons 14-0 up at half-time, the home side averting some early danger after the break by stealing a line-out near their own try-line following the visitors’ decision to kick a penalty to the right corner.
The Falcons had no such problems on 55 minutes when their decision to kick a penalty to the left corner was rewarded with a Jamie Blamire try from the driving maul, converted brilliantly yet again by Flood.
The hosts were reduced to 14 men when Graham was sent to the sin-bin just before the hour mark, but defended the subsequent line-out as London Scottish allowed yet another scoring opportunity to pass them by.
Playing with a man up for ten minutes they thought they had finally found a try on 65 minutes when scrum-half Josh Barton grounded the ball down the left, only for the officials to pull play back for a forward pass.
With no bonus points to play for there was an air of formality about the closing stages, Newcastle managing to find a fourth try three minutes from time when a flowing length-of-the-field move involving Flood, Williams and Van der Walt ended with Radwan racing in from the 22.
Flood added the simple conversion, his side already safely into the last four by the time Matt Eliet scored a consolation try at the death.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Gareth Owen (Johnny Williams, 55, Tom Arscott, 77), 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood (captain), 9 Sam Stuart (Joel Hodgson, 73); 1 Trevor Davison (Adam Brocklebank, 50), 2 Jamie Blamire (Charlie Maddison, 70), 3 Rodney Ah You (Mark Tampin, 50), 4 Toby Salmon, 5 Sebastian de Chaves (Greg Peterson, 50), 6 Callum Chick, 7 Gary Graham, 8 Simon Uzokwe (Philip van der Walt, 60).
Falcons scorers - Tries: Callum Chick, Adam Radwan 2, Jamie Blamire. Conversions: Toby Flood 4.
London Scottish: 15 Luke Hibberd, 14 Rob Stevenson, 13 Dan Barnes, 12 Harry Sheppard, 11 Bobby Beattie, 10 Will Magie, 9 Josh Barton (Lewis Wynne, 77); 1 Lewis Holsey (Ryan Eveleigh, 53), 2 Billy Harding, 3 Phil Cringle (Kyle Whyte, 53), 4 Alex Toolis (Matas Jurevicius, 40), 5 Luke Frost, 6 Matt Eliet, 7 Jack Ingall, 8 Mark Bright (captain, Miles Wakeling, 65).
Scottish scorers: Matt Eliet.
Referee: Andrew Jackson. Attendance: 2,003.