Newcastle Falcons enjoyed a convincing Championship Cup victory in their first home game of the season on Sunday, putting Doncaster Knights to the sword.
Leading 24-0 at the interval and continuing in a similar manner thereafter, Newcastle began the afternoon strongly, stealing the Knights’ first line-out and looking to play an ambitious offloading game.
The first try was almost forthcoming on eight minutes when Sinoti Sinoti offloaded to Sam Stuart who grubbered into the visiting 22, Doncaster grounding the ball behind their own line to set up a five-metre scrum.
The resulting set-piece in the left corner delivered the opening score, Tom Arscott’s wonderfully-weighted diagonal grubber enabling Adam Radwan to slide in and ground the ball in the right corner for an unconverted score.
George Wacokecoke’s arcing midfield run threatened a second try to a dominant home side before a scrambling Doncaster defender forced a knock-on, but the Falcons doubled their lead on 20 minutes when Radwan wriggled free from a tackle and sped 60 metres to the left corner.
Try number three arrived on the half-hour and was reward for some persistent forward pressure, repeated close-range penalties eventually seeing Jamie Blamire pick and go from a metre out following a succession of driving mauls.
Flood this time added the extras from the left, and converted again from in front five minutes later after Rodney Ah You grounded the bonus-point try from a close-range run.
Even when the Knights earned a penalty 25 metres out and kicked it to the corner home captain Sean Robinson was on hand to steal the resulting line-out, the Falcons carrying a 24-0 lead with them into the interval.
Newcastle’s dominance continued after the break when a penalty was kicked to the right corner, Blamire steering a driving maul over from five metres out for his second try of the day.
Wacokecoke grounded the next score when another close-range line-out was worked off the top to the centre, who hit a super running line to power his way over for the converted try.
Skipper Sean Robinson collected a Sinoti offload to score in the left corner, but a spirited Knights side dug themselves in and withstood a sustained barrage of red-zone pressure during the closing quarter.
That changed on 75 minutes when replacement hooker Kyle Cooper scored from a driving line-out in the right corner, Brett Connon’s conversion seeing his side reach the half-century.
Callum Chick added the cherry on the cake with a well-worked try in the left corner from a series of slick offloads, Connon converting from the touchline.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Adam Radwan (Alex Tait, 66), 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 George Wacokecoke, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood (Brett Connon, 59), 9 Sam Stuart (Joel Hodgson, 70); 1 Adam Brocklebank (Sam Lockwood, 70), 2 Jamie Blamire (Kyle Cooper, 55), 3 Rodney Ah You (Trevor Davison, 43), 4 Sebastian de Chaves, 5 Sean Robinson (captain, Toby Salmon, 55), 6 Gary Graham, 7 John Hardie (Simon Uzokwe, 45), 8 Callum Chick.
Falcons scorers - Tries: Adam Radwan 2, Jamie Blamire 2, Rodney Ah You, George Wacokecoke, Sean Robinson, Kyle Cooper, Callum Chick. Conversions: Toby Flood 4, Brett Connon 2.
Doncaster Knights: 15 Lloyd Hayes, 14 Curtis Wilson,13 Kyle Evans, 12 Pete Lucock (Sam Olver, 44), 11 Tyson Lewis, 10 Charles Foley, 9 Reiss Cullen (Sam Pocklington, 61); 1 Marc Thomas (Robin Hislop, 50), 2 George Edgson (Robin Hislop, 50), 3 Andrew Foster (Charles Beech, 50), 4 Thomas Hicks. 5 Matt Smith (captain), 6 Morgan Eames (Joe Sproston, 40), 7 Sam Jones (Rouban Birch, 20, Matt Challinor, 45), 8 Rory Pitman.
Referee: Andrew Jackson. Attendance: 3,577.