Newcastle Falcons made it two wins out of two in the Aviva A League with a 20-13 victory over Leicester Tigers at Kingston Park on Monday night.
Tries from Andy Saull and Scott Wilson coupled with the impeccable boot of Tom Penny earned the Falcons a well-deserved triumph.
Both sides exchanged a penalty apiece in the opening 10 minutes with Leicester’s Scott Steele and Falcons’ Penny making no mistake in front of goal.
With the wind behind them in the first-half, and boasting international hooker George Chuter in their ranks, Leicester were looking strong early on. However, despite a period of sustained pressure on the Falcons’ try line, James Ponton’s men stood firm to keep the score at 3-3 with just under 20 minutes on the clock.
Tigers had the chance to edge in front on the half hour mark with a penalty directly in front of goal, but in the swirling wind Steele could only slice his kick wide of the upright.
Steele was made to pay four minutes from the break when flanker Saull finished off a sweeping attacking move. Winger Ollie Walker was the catalyst, leaving his marker for dead on the near side before sprinting clear and staying in field despite being tackled. From the breakdown the ball was switched in field where fly-half Craig Willis combined with Alex Crockett to send Saull in under the posts. Penny landed the conversion to give the Falcons a 10-3 interval lead.
The northeasterners made a solid start to proceedings after the break with excellent mauling coming to the fore to earn the hosts a penalty 25 metres out. Penny nailed the three points to put the Falcons 13-3 ahead.
Continuing their domination upfront, Newcastle got their just reward on 52 minutes courtesy of tighthead Scott Wilson who added the finishing touches to a rolling maul. The steely presence of forwards Will Witty, Trevor Davison and David Nelson provided the score. Penny’s touchline conversion enhanced the Falcons’ advantage to 20-3.
In typical fashion Leicester went on the attack from the restart as they searched for a way back into the contest. Camped on the Falcons’ line for the best part of five minutes, Lucas Guiiaume thought he was in for a try only to be thwarted by a scrambling Newcastle defensive line. From the breakdown there was a two man overlap on the far side, but the Tigers were unable to capitalise and the Falcons earned a much needed reprieve in the shape of a penalty.
Pasquale Dunn scooted in for a try for the Welford Road club with less than 10 minutes remaining following quick hands in the Tigers backline. Steele’s exquisite touchline conversion narrowed the gap to 20-10. Steele added a last minute penalty to ensure Leicester left the North East with a losing bonus point, but the night belonged to Newcastle who ran out 20-13 victors.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Tom Penny, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Alex Crockett, 11 Tahir El Mahdi, 10 Craig Willis, 9 Warren Fury, 1 Gary Strain, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Scott Wilson, 4 Sean Tomes, 5 Will Witty, 6 Ollie Hodgson, 7 Andy Saull, 8 Harrison Collins
Replacements: 16 David Nelson, 17 James Hallam, 18 Trevor Davison, 19 Josh Hedley, 20 Harry Bate, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Josh Bragman, 23 Andy Higgins
Leicester Tigers: 15 Perry Humphreys, 14 Pasqualle Dunn, 13 Terrence Hepetema, 12 Javiah Pohe, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 George Tresidder, 9 Scott Steele, 1 Jerome Schuster, 2 George Chuter (c), 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Joe Cain, 5 Tom Price, 6 Harry Wells, 7 Lucas Guillaume, 8 Michael Noone
Replacements: 16 Jake Farnworth, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Ryan Bower, 19 Ed Milne, 20 Will Owen, 21 George Prince, 22 George Catchpole, 23 Charlie Thacker