George Wacokecoke attacks

Glasgow 7 Falcons 12

Friday 3 September 2021

A last-minute try from George Wacokecoke saw Newcastle Falcons win Friday’s pre-season opener at Scotstoun as both squads got useful match minutes under their belt.

One converted try apiece was all the sides could manage up until the very last play as they blew away the summer cobwebs – Duncan Weir and Callum Chick the men to find their way over the whitewash before Wacokecoke's dramatic late winner.

Newcastle began the brighter of the two teams and camped themselves in the home half for much of the opening ten minutes – earning a string of close-range penalties but ultimately trailing 7-0 at the interval.

Kicking twice for the corner and taking the quick tap at the third time for asking, their territory was unrewarded as the hosts earned a relieving penalty to clear their lines.

Aggressive defence from Pete Lucock thwarted a Glasgow attack on 15 minutes as the home side finally enjoyed some ball in hand in the Falcons’ half – the Yorkshireman forcing a penalty with a man-and-ball hit on his own 22.

Despite the weight of Newcastle pressure it was actually the Warriors who opened the scoring on 19 minutes, fly-half Duncan Weir rounding off a counter-attack to race between the posts, converting his own try.

The sin-binning of Will Welch for a tackle inside Glasgow’s half further dampened his side’s cause, and it needed a try-saving tackle from debutant Ollie Lindsay-Hague to save them on 29 minutes when Kiran McDonald broke away down the left.

The Warriors were then held up over the Newcastle try-line – a passage which led to the Falcons’ first ever goal-lone drop-out under the new law variations – and with neither side adding further to their tallies it was the home side who led by seven at the break.

The visitors began the second half with gusto, ploughing their way into the Warriors’ 22 when Tampin’s athletic offload and the supporting play of Callum Chick saw them gaining ground. Awarded a penalty five metres out, they opted for the scrum, only to see an attempted short-side move bundled into touch.

Brett Connon saved a try when he was on the spot five metres out to intercept an attempted inside pass from a Warriors line-break – the continuity taking a dip as both sides rolled on their benches around the hour mark.

The teams were level pegging on 67 minutes when England international Callum Chick intercepted on halfway and raced all the way to the line, showing pace and power to fend off the last man.

Will Haydon-Wood added the simple conversion, his side surviving a scare on 75 minutes when Glasgow kicked a penalty to the corner, only to have their maul expertly thwarted by Newcastle’s defensive unity.

It looked for all money as if a draw would be the final outcome - that was at least until Wacokecoke raced into the left corner to ground a sensational winner.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Iwan Stephens, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Kyle Cooper, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 Marco Fuser, 5 Philip van der Walt, 6 Josh Basham, 7 Will Welch, 8 Callum Chick.

Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Conor Kenny, 19 Matthew Dalton, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 James Blackett, 22 Will Haydon-Wood, 23 Ben Stevenson, [blank shirts]: Mark Dormer, Oscar Caudle, George Merrick, Freddie Lockwood, Marcus Tiffen, Ewan Greenlaw, Louie Johnson.

Scorers – Tries: Callum Chick, George Wacokecoke. Conversions: Will Haydon-Wood.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Ollie Smith, 14 Rufus McLean, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Ratu Tagive, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Sean Kennedy; 1 Tom Lambert, 2 Jonny Matthews, 3 Murray McCallum, 4 Lewis Bean, 5 Richie Gray, 6 Kiran McDonald, 7 Rory Darge, 8 Ryan Wilson.

Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 George Thornton, 18 Murphy Walker, 19 Robert Harley, 20 Tom Gordon, 21 Jamie Dobbie, 22 Ross Thompson, 23 Peter Horne, 24 Max Williamson, 25 Scott Cummings, 26 Rory Jackson, 27 Logan Trotter, 28 Findlay Callaghan, 29 Cole Forbes, 30 Nick Grigg.

Scorers – Tries: Duncan Weir. Conversions: Duncan Weir.

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