Pace, power and precision were all to the fore on Saturday at Sixways when Newcastle Falcons recorded the full five Gallagher Premiership points – putting Worcester Warriors to the sword.
A result the Falcons had been threatening for weeks finally came to fruition, breathing significant life into the remainder of the season as they found their finishing power.
The Falcons led 21-5 at half-time and pushed on thereafter, a physical opening half seeing them front up in defence as well as scoring three tries – all from academy graduates.
A lengthy injury stoppage for home full-back Noah Heward inside the first minute did not manage to sap the early momentum from the visitors, who opened their account just four minutes later.
The league’s leading try-scorer George McGuigan was the man to dot down, collecting an offload from Josh Basham in the left corner after a flowing 60-metre move which included runs from Tom Penny and Mateo Carreras, among others.
Brett Connon added the conversion from wide out, and the Falcons were having to work hard as Adam Radwan produced a try-saving tackle on Scotland and Lions wing Duhan van der Merwe five metres out.
The home side kept pressing and eventually got off the mark on 22 minutes, replacement Perry Humphreys crossing in the left corner from a wide-wide play as Newcastle’s defensive shape was tested to the limit.
Fin Smith’s pulled conversion left the Falcons two points to the good, and they extended that margin to nine on 32 minutes when a lineout 40 metres out down the right ended with Connon scoring between the posts.
The fly-half exchanged a one-two with No.8 Freddie Lockwood to get behind the defensive line and beat the last man – Connon adding the simple conversion.
There was still time for one more try just before the break, and it was Adam Radwan who grounded it in the left corner after a 50-22 from Carreras - Radwan hitting a short-side line after a set line-out play which saw over-the-top ball taken up by Luther Burrell.
Connon’s touchline conversion put the Falcons 21-5 up at half-time, and they began the second half strongly when Burrell was held up over the try-line after a flowing passage of handling play.
They turned pressure into points on 44 minutes when Connon struck a long-range penalty between the posts from out on the left, and the four-try bonus point followed eight minutes later.
Louis Schreuder was the man to ground it, the scrum-half darting in from the 22 after turnover ball saw runs from McGuigan, Trevor Davison and Greg Peterson creating the scoring opportunity.
Connon again converted, repeating the trick on 67 minutes when prop Trevor Davison scored down the right-hand side.
Worcester skipper Ted Hill reached an arm out of the tackle to score the Warriors’ second try in the left corner with ten minutes to go, but it was Newcastle who had the last say when Jamie Blamire scored from a quick tap – Connon maintaining his 100% strike rate with the conversion.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Penny (Will Haydon-Wood, 74), 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Luther Burrell (Ben Stevenson, 57), 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Louis Schreuder (Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 67); 1 Adam Brocklebank (Kyle Cooper, 67, 2 George McGuigan (Jamie Blamire, 58), 3 Trevor Davison (Mark Tampin, 67), 4 Greg Peterson (Marco Fuser, 65), 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Josh Basham (Rob Farrar, 71), 7 Will Welch (captain), 8 Freddie Lockwood.
Scorers - Tries: George McGuigan, Brett Connon, Adam Radwan, Louis Schreuder, Trevor Davison, Jamie Blamire. Conversions: Brett Connon 6. Penalties: Brett Connon.
Worcester Warriors: 15 Noah Heward (Perry Humphreys, 1), 14 Alex Hearle, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Fin Smith (Billy Searle, 51), 9 Gareth Simpson, 1 Rory Sutherland (Ethan Miller, 52), 2 Niall Annett, 3 Christian Judge (Murray McCallum, 52), 4 Joe Batley, 5 Graham Kitchener (Justin Clegg, 52), 6 Kyle Hatherell, 7 Ted Hill (captain), 8 Sione Vailanu.
Scorers - Tries: Perry Humphreys, Ted Hill.
Referee: Adam Leal.
Heward, Hearle, Morris, Beck, van der Merwe, Smith, Simpson, Sutherland, Annett, Judge, Batley, Kitchener, Hatherell, Hill, Vailanu
Replacements Miller, Waller, McCallum, Clegg, Forsythe, Chudley, Searle, Humphreys
Penny, Radwan, Wacokecoke, Burrell, Carreras, Connon, Schreuder, Brocklebank, McGuigan, Davison, Peterson, Robinson, Basham, Welch, Lockwood
Replacements Blamire, Cooper, Tampin, Fuser, Farrar, Nordli-Kelemeti, Haydon-Wood, Stevenson
referee: Adam Leal
assistant: Alex Thomas
assistant: Jamie Leahy
TMO: Dean Richards