Newcastle Falcons extended their unbeaten run to five games as they collected the full five points from Friday night’s Greene King IPA Championship visit of Hartpury University to Kingston Park Stadium.
Leading 21-0 at half-time and going on to secure the bonus point five minutes into the second half, the home side began their scoring early on and managed to maintain the pressure for much of the evening.
A rampant Falcons side were a try to the good within four minutes, stealing the first lineout of the game and then driving Hartpury off their own scrum ball a moment later, Nemani Nagusa scooping up possession and diving over in the right corner.
Toby Flood added the extras, and Newcastle’s destructive attacking intent was abundantly clear as they ran hard and looked for offloads at every opportunity, maintaining a high tempo with which Hartpury simply could not live.
The second try almost arrived on 16 minutes when the hosts were held up over the line after a string of forward carries, Nagusa again at the heart of things as the Fijian made big yards with ball in hand.
But they did not have long to wait, the resulting five-metre scrum seeing the ball worked infield from the left corner by Nagusa, where prop Rodney Ah You hit a powerful straightening running line to crash between the posts, Flood adding the simple conversion.
Hartpury plugged away gallantly and began to enjoy a more even share of possession, but the Falcons added another seven to their tally on 38 minutes when a period of eager home defence forced the visitors to kick downfield, Adam Radwan returning the ball 80 metres for a scorching try down the right which saw him outpacing everyone.
Flood’s conversion from in front took Newcastle’s lead to 21-0 at the interval, an eventful start to the second half seeing both sides scoring within the opening six minutes.
First was a well-taken effort from Hartpury full-back George Simpson, who collected a cross-field kick from ex-Northumbria University fly-half Josh Bragman to score in the left corner.
Due to Hartpury players receiving treatment there was no kicking tee provided to Bragman for the touchline conversion, leaving the visiting stand-off to pull off a remarkable piece of improvisation which saw him smashing over a hugely impressive drop-goal from way out on the left-hand side.
The Falcons responded in perfect fashion, Sinoti Sinoti securing the four-try bonus point as the Samoan scored his first try of the season down the left-hand side.
The hosts had to wait another 25 minutes for their fifth try of the night, Ben Stevenson grounding the ball under heavy pressure just a minute after coming on from the bench, Sam Stuart and Toby Flood creating a one-on-one in the right corner.
Flood added the touchline conversion, and the fly-half was in the thick of things almost straightaway when his outrageous reverse pass freed Stevenson for a second try in the right corner three minutes from time.
Callum Chick added the cherry on the cake with a try in the final play, the replacement hitting a crash-ball line 10 metres out to power over, Hodgson converting.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan (Ben Stevenson, 68), 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood (captain, Joel Hodgson, 77), 9 Sam Stuart (Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 77); 1 Adam Brocklebank (Trevor Davison, 52), 2 Charlie Maddison (Jamie Blamire, 52), 3 Rodney Ah You (Mark Tampin, 52), 4 Darren Barry (Sean Robinson, 61), 5 Will Montgomery, 6 Will Welch, 7 Gary Graham, 8 Nemani Nagusa (Callum Chick, 72).
Falcons scorers - Tries: Nemani Nagusa, Rodney Ah You, Adam Radwan, Sinoti Sinoti, Ben Stevenson 2, Callum Chick. Conversions: Toby Flood 4, Joel Hodgson.
Hartpury University RFC: 15 George Simpson, 14 Nick David, 13 Charlie Powell, 12 Luke Eves, 11 Toby Fricker, 10 Josh Bragman, 9 Luke Carter (captain); 1 Dan Murphy (Des Merrey, 40), 2 Will Crane (Will Tanner, 40), 3 Ashley Challenger (Mike Flook, 40), 4 Chunya Munga (Kieran Curran, 40), 5 Joe Batley, 6 John Hawkins, 7 Max Clementson (Seb Nagle-Taylor, 58), 8 Will Safe (Jack Preece, 73).
Hartpury scorers - Tries: George Simpson. Conversions: Josh Bragman.
Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe. Attendance: 4,206.