Falcons 46 Coventry 7

Sunday 17 November 2019

Newcastle Falcons cut loose to extend their lead at the top of the Championship to six points on Sunday, powering past Coventry in a convincing Kingston Park try-fest.

Chalking up the bonus point after just 55 minutes, by far their most convincing performance of the league season saw them winning their ninth successive game in all competitions.

Newcastle led 18-0 at half-time and opened the scoring after 11 minutes through a Joel Hodgson penalty from out in front, his side having got into prime field position after a slick line-out saw George Wacokecoke taking the ball on the full over the back of the line, where he was supported by George McGuigan.

Coventry had a chance with a close-range line-out which was spun wide into phase play, where co-captain McGuigan produced a crucial turnover to clear the danger.

His side advanced up to the other end of the field where a line-out on the left wing was worked infield for Adam Radwan to race for the right corner, grounding impressively for an unconverted try after being played in by Sinoti Sinoti.

Coventry almost responded with a try of their own, but for the pace and athleticism of Gary Graham as the No 8 sped back to his own 22 to scoop up a kick-ahead.

It was the home side who produced the next score on 28 minutes when a series of slick offloads just inside the Coventry half set the stage for a second Hodgson penalty, and the fly-half was soon lining up another conversion after George McGuigan steered a rolling maul to the left corner from 15 metres out.

Hodgson duly obliged with the extras, the 18-0 margin standing until the interval despite the Falcons’ best efforts to add to it with a close-range barrage around the Coventry try-line.

The beginning of the second half made up for that, Coventry losing scrum-half Tom Kessell to the sin bin for a high shot and Newcastle taking immediate advantage of the extra man when Gary Graham raced between the posts for a converted try.

The four-try bonus point arrived on 50 minutes when a scrum penalty on the Coventry 22 was kicked to the right corner, Will Welch taking back ball at the line-out from which McGuigan duly rumbled over at the base of a driving maul.

That brought the four-try bonus point, and the scoring did not stop there as Josh Matavesi raced in to the right corner for number five on 55 minutes, showing a fair turn of pace to beat the last man before Hodgson added a touchline conversion.

The visitors kept plugging away, and got the try that their tenacity deserved on 65 minutes when replacement scrum-half Pete White scurried down the left, Rory Jennings adding the conversion.

A stunning try-saver from Radwan prevented a second try for White when the winger sped back to make a tackle which seemed inconceivable, but the Falcons were having no such worries at the other end.

That much was clear when replacement Gareth Owen marked his debut with a try, Takulua grubbering ahead for Darren Barry, who fed Owen on the inside for a walk-in, Takulua converting.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Josh Matavesi (Gareth Owen, 67), 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Joel Hodgson (Tim Swiel, 69), 9 Michael Young (co-captain, Sonatane Takulua, 60); 1 Logovi’i Mulipola (Trevor Davison, 50), 2 George Mcguigan (co-captain, Jamie Blamire, 50), 3 Mark Tampin (Rodney Ah You, 50), 4 Sebastian de Chaves (Greg Peterson, 57), 5 Darren Barry, 6 Will Welch, 7 John Hardie (Callum Chick, 72), 8 Gary Graham.

Falcons scorers - Tries: Adam Radwan, George McGuigan 2, Gary Graham, Josh Matavesi, Gareth Owen. Conversions: Joel Hodgson 4, Sonatane Takulua. Penalties: Joel Hodgson 2.

Coventry Rugby: 15 James Stokes, 14 David Halaifonua, 13 Heath Stevens (Tony Fenner, 55), 12 Rory Jennings, 11 Max Trimble, 10 Will Maisey (Rob Knox, 44), 9 Tom Kessell (Pete White, 55); 1 James Gibbons (Toby Trinder, 50), 2 Joe Buckle (Henry Walker, 50), 3 Gareth Denman (Phil Boulton, 50), 4 Nile Dacres (Alex Woolford, 67), 5 James Voss, 6 Senitiki Nayalo (Ben Nutley, 40), 7 Adam Peters, 8 Ryan Burrows (captain).

Coventry scorers - Tries: Pete White. Conversions: Rory Jennings.

Referee: Fergus Kirby. Attendance: 4,909.

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