An Adam Radwan hat-trick helped Newcastle to a convincing Premiership Rugby Shield victory over Leicester Tigers on Monday at Kingston Park Stadium.
Leicester fly-half Dan Lewis got the scoring underway after four minutes when he slotted a penalty from the 22, Newcastle having disrupted a Tigers maul but committing a second penalty offence in doing so.
Newcastle responded almost instantly, USA tight-head Paul Mullen dashing home from the 22 in support of Simon Uzokwe’s line-break as the flanker put on a big fend to break free. Brett Connon slotted the simple conversion from in front.
The home side were enjoying the lion’s share of territory and possession but saw a succession of close-range line-outs neutralised by the home defence, Ben Stevenson going close in the left corner as Josh Hodge found the winger on an outside line.
Portugal centre Pedro Bettencourt was among the many willing runners for a Newcastle side whose quick tempo was being driven by Connon and half-back partner Sam Stuart, but the Tigers managed to edge themselves ahead on 34 minutes when centre Rob Povey showed quick footwork in a tight space to score in the corner.
Lewis converted from the right touchline but Leicester’s lead lasted less than two minutes, Adam Radwan scoring in the right corner after a scrum 30 metres out saw him stepping and out-pacing his man.
Connon converted, the Tigers narrowing the half-time deficit to 14-13 when Lewis sent over a penalty two minutes before the interval.
Newcastle’s third try arrived only three minutes into the second half, when a superb side-step from Glen Young in the close confines of the right corner saw the Scottish lock earning a clear run to the line, Connon again adding the conversion.
Two quick tries from Adam Radwan saw the bonus point safely chalked up before the hour mark, the first on an inside line from Bettencourt’s offload and the second when a close-range scrum was worked down the blindside.
Guy Graham grabbed the next when the Scotland Under-20s cap ploughed through a group of bodies on his debut, Young supporting Bettencourt's break to score down the right before Graham added a second in the last minute from a David Wilson run.
Newcastle Falcons A: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Tom Penny, 12 Pedro Bettencourt, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Trevor Davison, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Paul Mullen, 4 Will Montgomery, 5 Glen Young, 6 Tom Marshall, 7 Simon Uzokwe, 8 Ryan Burrows (captain).
Replacements: 16 Ali Johnson (Heriots), 17 Craig Mitchell, 18 David Wilson, 19 Rob Farrar, 20 Connor Collett, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Charlie Wilson, 23 Guy Graham.
Falcons scorers - Tries: Paul Mullen, Adam Radwan 3, Glen Young 2, Guy Graham 2. Conversions: Brett Connon 7.
Leicester Tigers A: 15 Joe Lane (Coventry), 14 Sam Aspland-Robinson, 13 Rob Povey (Coventry), 12 Matt Smith, 11 James Neal (Coventry), 10 Dan Lewis (Coventry), 9 Will Flynn (Coventry); 1 Campese Ma’afu, 2 Jake Kerr, 3 Facundo Gigena, 4 Fred Tuilagi, 5 Cameron Jordan, 6 Thom Smith, 7 Taylor Gough, 8 Valentino Mapapalangi.
Replacements: 16 Stefan Younghusband (Loughborough Students), 17 Sam Grahamslaw, 18 Keston Lines, 19 Scott Russell (Coventry), 20 Henri Lavin, 21 Dave Brazier (Coventry), 22 Isaac McNulty (Coventry), 23 Louis Roach (Coventry).
Leicester scorers - Tries: Rob Povey. Conversions: Dan Lewis. Penalties: Dan Lewis 2.