The Falcons top off their season in style as our season recap revisits May.
The Falcons began May with the news that Italian international winger Giovanbattista “Giamba” Venditti will join the club next season in yet another strong signing for 2015/16.
The team’s first on-field outing of the month saw them travel to Sale where the game ended 34-28 to the Sharks, despite a trio of Falcons tries from Adam Powell, Richard Mayhew and Juan Pablo Socino.
Later that weekend three Falcons turned out in the RFU Championship play-off semi final when Andy Davies, Sean Robinson and Ben Morris all put in a strong showing for Rotherham Titans against Bristol.
The South Yorkshire club and their dual registered Falcons acquitted themselves well against a highly fancied Bristol side, being within two points of causing a massive upset with only 20 minutes of the two legged tie remaining.
As the 2014/15 season drew to a close ticket sales for the final game of the season against Harlequins meant the Falcons continued their upward trend of crowd figures for the season.
On-field too the season would end in similarly positive form, Mike Blair leading the team out for his final performance as a Falcon and going on to score the third of five Falcons tries amidst an assured man of the match winning performance that saw him leave the field to a standing ovation.
Dean Richards said his team “won in style” thanks to additional scores from Richard Mayhew, Scott Lawson, Adam Powell and Andy Saull, touching down in the 80th minute for his final act in a Falcons shirt, as well as a string of successful kicks from Tom Catterick.
The most memorable moment of the match had to be the failed conversion attempt for Saull’s try, Alex Tuilagi stepping up as the match ended much to the entertainment of the gathered crowd. His effort fell short of the posts but no matter, the Falcons had topped their season off on the best possible note.
The following week saw the club’s End of Season celebration and awards ceremony, the Big Rugby Ball. Over 200 people were in attendance to see Sinoti Sinoti collect a trio of awards for Players’ Player of the Season, Heineken Fans Star of the Season and Try of the Season for his efforts against Bath.
Other awards on the night went to Chris Harris for Academy Player of the Season, Andy Saull as Community Player of the Season and Academy Administrator Roz Lyall as Clubman of the Season, with Ruki Tipuna collecting the Ken Lockerbie Trophy for most consistent appearances throughout the season.
The 2014/15 accolades weren’t finished for Sinoti though as he was named amongst BT Sports Aviva Premiership Dream Team of the season at the league awards ceremony the following evening.
Will Witty was announced as part of the England Under 20s squad for their upcoming Junior World Championships in Italy. The 20 year old would go on to make his debut in the reigning Champions’ opening game against Japan, gaining praise from coaches and topping off his first appearance with a try in the final minutes of the game.
Finally, in a call up many considered long overdue, Mark Wilson ran out alongside Kieran Brookes and a number of former Falcons team mates for England in their match against the Barbarians. With England recording a 73-12 victory against a BaaBaas team that included a number of big names, Wilson delivered a typically sound performance which saw him touted by many as one to watch for future international honours.