Zach Kibirige scored twice on the night

Worcester A 26 Falcons A 31

Monday 3 September 2018

Newcastle Falcons' second-string enjoyed a winning start to the newly-rebranded Premiership Rugby Shield on Monday night at Sixways.

Building a 17-5 half-time lead and withstanding a late rally from the home side, Newcastle were a try to the good inside seven minutes when back-rower Tom Marshall crossed in the corner, Brett Connon converting.

Zach Kibirige scored the second from a long-range effort to establish a 12-point buffer on 11 minutes, Worcester responding when Matt Cox scored from the back of a driving maul.

Connon slotted a penalty in the last scoring contribution of the opening half, the home side finding a second try from a charge-down as Joe Margetts dotted down to reduce the Falcons' lead to five.

Kibirige's second try just after the hour mark re-established the visitors' supremacy with the winger having returned from the sin bin, Connon drilling over the extras, and they chalked up the four-try bonus point thanks to the support line of Jamie Blamire as the hooker scored on 68 minutes.

Connon's conversion put the Falcons 31-12 up but the visitors were forced to withstand a concerted Worcester rally in the closing stages, firstly with the award of a penalty try.

That was followed by Sam Hollingsworth's try in the dying embers, but there was no time for a home winner as Worcester had to make do with a pair of bonus points in defeat, the Falcons taking the full five.

Academy manager and first team skills coach Mark Laycock said afterwards: "We are really pleased with the result but disappointed that we only played well for around 15 minutes of the game.

"The work ethic and problem-solving ability of the players was excellent, and there were some big defensive contributions from guys like Tom Penny and Tom Marshall.

"To go 31-12 up and concede so many points late on was a little disappointing, although we played 20 minutes with 14 men.

"It was a stop-start game in many ways but we have blooded a lot of young players, and they stood up to the test."

Newcastle Falcons A: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Ben Stevenson, 13 Tom Penny, 12 Dominic Waldouck (captain), 11 Zach Kibirige, 10 Brett Connon, 9 James Elliott; 1 Chris Keen (Gala RFC), 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Craig Mitchell, 4 Will Montgomery, 5 Tom Hicks (Doncaster Knights), 6 Connor Collett, 7 Simon Uzokwe, 8 Tom Marshall.

Replacements: 16 Joe Lashley (Northumbria University), 17 Tristan Grant (Darlington Mowden Park), 18 Isaac Brace (Northumbria University), 19 Ethan Clarke (Gosforth Academy AASE), 20 Morgan Passman, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Charlie Wilson, 23 George Wacokecoke.

Worcester Cavaliers: 15 Noah Heward (Solihull School), 14 Tom Howe, 13 Dean Hammond, 12 Joe Margetts (Hartpury), 11 Mason Tonks (Hartpury), 10 Luke Scully, 9 Luke Baldwin (captain); 1 Kai Owen, 2 Beck Cutting, 3 Gareth Milasinovich, 4 James Scott, 5 Rob Fuller (Hartpury), 6 Ted Hill, 7 Zac Xiourouppa, 8 Matt Cox.

Replacements: 16 Jordan Liney (Hartpury), 17 Nick Rigby, 18 Farai Mudariki, 19 Max Katjijeko (Luctonians), 20 Ollie Walker (Hartpury), 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Sam Hollingsworth (Birmingham Moseley), 23 Ervin Muric (Hartpury).

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