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NEWCASTLE 16 SAINTS 22 As it happened

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

2mins

Samu Manoa catches the kick off safely enough and Saints put together a good maul. But Mike Haywood gets isolated coming up the blindside, the support knocks on and Falcons get a chance to stretch their legs. Noah Cato gets the ball early on the far side, but in the next phase Clegg's kick ahead goes over the dead ball line for a Saints scrum in midfield

NEWCASTLE 0 SAINTS 0


3mins

Saints show good intent in their first attack, Manoa going through the middle and Stephen Myler putting Ken Pisi away with a lovely little pass. Alex Tait is there to cover though and forces the Samoan into touch

NEWCASTLE 0 SAINTS 0


4mins

Mike Blair's clearance is a good one, and when Pisi and James Wilson both miss the initial bounce Falcons' chasers have a bit more time to hunt their man down. Wilson isn't helped by the pitch giving way while he tries to sidestep, and when play goes up 15 metres the ball hits the deck for a Falcons scrum on halfway, 20 metres in from the far touchline

NEWCASTLE 0 SAINTS 0


5mins

The scrum is solid and Kahn Fotuali'i holds his ground well, waiting for Ally Hogg to pick the ball up at the base. But Calum Clark is a bit more eager on the blindside and a penalty is awarded. Tait kicks to the 22-metre line on the far side

NEWCASTLE 0 SAINTS 0


6mins

Great play from Saints there. The throw was long and Phil Dowson takes play forward, but not as far as Haywood, who breaks the line to go up to halfway. Saints play with the advantage and Fotuali'i kicks deep into home territory

NEWCASTLE 0 SAINTS 0


7mins

Try for Saints, and a third in four for Wilson in the far corner. Again Falcons' poor lineout hurts them, this time a free kick giving Saints an opportunity to pile on the pressure. This they do, eventually creating the extra man for Wilson to stretch over the line. Myler's conversion is straight into the wind and isn't close to the posts

NEWCASTLE 0 SAINTS 5


10mins

Sam Dickinson catches the restart unopposed, but a couple of loose passes from the Saints put themselves under pressure and eventually a penalty is conceded just inside the 22. Clegg makes no mistake

NEWCASTLE 3 SAINTS 5


12mins

This time it is Newcastle who struggle at the kick off, and some obstruction gives Myler the chance to kick to touch, which he duly does for a lineout 10 metres from the home line

NEWCASTLE 3 SAINTS 5


13mins

The Falcons defence holds well, firstly in the maul, then stopping Jamie Elliott coming off his wing and finally forcing a fumble on the near side when George Pisi tries to put Wilson in the clear. It's a home scrum, 10 metres from their own line and 10 metres in from the near-side touchline

NEWCASTLE 3 SAINTS 5


15mins

A good shove from Saints and some good work from Hogg and Blair at the break. Wilson takes play on, but a couple of errors - Saints conceding a turnover and Falcons making a fumble - sees possession change hands quickly. Eventually Haywood makes another charge, and when Falcons come offside at the ruck Myler has another chance to put his forwards in a great position

NEWCASTLE 3 SAINTS 5


16mins

Rob Vickers leaves the field after some treatment, and his replacement Gary Strain has to help his pack defend a lineout 10 metres from their own line

NEWCASTLE 3 SAINTS 5


17mins

Try for Saints, and it's a first in the Aviva Premiership for Tom Stephenson! Saints set up a maul but it was just a hoax, with Fotuali'i coming inside. Possession is retained, albeit a little scrappily, and playing with the advantage Stephenson beats the initial defenders before swerving past the last man on his way to the posts. Myler converts

NEWCASTLE 3 SAINTS 12


19mins

Falcons' kick-chase has been good, and their defensive line is solid on the Saints' 22, and while the visitors retain possession initially they hold onto the ball too long at a ruck 25 metres out in the middle of the field. Clegg goes for goal again and pulls three points back

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 12


21mins

The hosts are not keeping the ball for very long, but with the strong wind behind them you can't blame both Blair and Tait for putting boot to ball. The tactic pays off, with Wilson clearing to halfway for a Falcons lineout

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 12


23mins

Tait again puts a kick through, and Wilson - not for the first time - struggles with the bounce when trying to control the ball. Saints control the play patiently, and Ken Pisi recovers a Fotuali'i box kick. But in the next passage of play Falcons turn the ball over at a ruck and an early tackle gives Clegg another shot at goal, 5 metres in from the far touchline and 25 metres out. This time the wind wins and Myler drops out

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 12


26mins

Falcons go through the phases , but Clegg's kick is not a good one and Dickinson collects unopposed. Wilson clears superbly into the wind, and while they opt for a quick through Falcons soon put another kick in. This gives Fotuali'i a chance to run, and a lovely pass to Wilson puts Falcons under pressure. They concede a penalty, and Wilson kicks to the home 22 on the near side

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 12


29mins

Saints win the ball cleanly and go through some phases, picking and going well around the fringes. A Falcons kick relieves the initial pressure, but another penalty comes and the kick goes to the far touchline again

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 12


30mins

Every time Saints go around the fringes they make a couple of metres, so it's a shame when George Pisi fumbles while trying to get the ball wide. The kick goes 70 metres downfield, and while Ken Pisi and Elliott try to bring play back the ball goes to ground for a Falcons scrum 5 metres inside Saints' half, 15 metres in from the far touchline

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 12


32mins

Falcons are playing the kind of breakdown defence which will either win a turnover or concede a penalty. This time it's the latter, after Saints win the scrum against the head, and Wilson kicks to the 22 on the far side

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 12


33mins

Third try for the Saints and a second for Wilson! The forwards maul well, Elliott comes off his wing to burst through the defensive line and with a four-to-one overlap on the near side the try is a formality. Myler's pass to George Pisi is a peach, and the centre gives the ball unselfishly to his full back for the score. Myler judges the conversion superbly, curling the ball in from outside the right post over the bar

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


35mins

Saints play out from their 22 to halfway superbly, before Fotuali'i spots loads of space and chips for Elliott to chase. A subsequent pass from the Samoan misses his man, but Stephenson recovers and Saints get a scrum - their first put-in of the game so far - 5 metres into the home territory

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


38mins

Forward power wins a penalty, and Wilson kicks to the far touchline, 10 metres out. But Haywood's throw eludes Clark and Falcons clear to halfway. This time the lineout works well, Myler making metres and Fotuali'i kicking to 10 metres from the home line

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


40mins

Blair's clearance finds an unmarked Ken Pisi, but after Saints make 30 metres they turn the ball over and concede a penalty for offside. Tait kicks to touch for a final home attack, but again their lineout fails, Dowson winning the ball back. The kick goes to touch and the teams head to the sheds

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


HT

That was as nearly as good a half as the Saints would have wanted. They have taken most of their chances and mixed and matched their play pretty well. Yes, there have been a few mistakes, but on a pitch like this they can be forgiven. With the wind at their backs you would not be surprised to see Myler, Fotuali'i and Wilson put the boot to ball a bit more and make Falcons play from deep in their own half. But another try still has to come to get the bonus point and control will be needed, too

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


42mins

As you'd expect, Myler kicks through early. His kick off was excellent, but Tait deals with a bouncing grubber superbly. The following play from the Falcons isn't so good, with a pass on the far side flying forward and into touch for a Saints scrum 30 metres out and 5 metres in from touch

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


43mins

Saints dominated the scrums in the first half but concede a penalty when Salesi Ma'afu loses his footing. Blair taps quickly, Falcons go through some phases and put a grubber through which gives Saints a lineout on their own 22 on the far side

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


45mins

Good defensive work from Saints, Fotuali'i box kicking and Ken Pisi recovering. It's a pity he ends up in touch on the far side, but Saints have cleared the danger, albeit not for long. Falcons retain possession from the throw, and when George Pisi fails to roll away the ball is sent to the near touchline for a home throw on the 22

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


47mins

So nearly a great score for Saints. Falcons concede a penalty, deep in the visitors' half, and when Fotuali'i taps quickly it opens space for Myler to exploit. The ball inside to Elliott is good, but his pass to Wilson hits a Falcon and goes to ground. Adam Powell comes on for Jamie Helleur

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


48mins

Fotuali'i is having a good game, and good work on the deck wins a turnover. Saints try to exploit the possession and position on the home 22, but the ball goes to ground. Falcons clear to the 10-metre line

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


49mins

Christian Day wins the lineout, but not cleanly, and while the ball is recovered it eventually goes to ground for a home scrum. Saints are getting themselves into some good positions here, but need a little more patience with ball in hand

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


51mins

That last passage of play was reminiscent of the Saints' last away trip at Sandy Park, with Newcastle putting the ball through the hands to work their way 30 metres upfield. Saints concede another penalty and Dowson gets a team warning

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


53mins

This is far and away the hosts' best passage of the game so far, and after going through some phases a Haywood high tackle sees Tait go for the corner. The maul goes to ground, but Falcons can't break the defence with the advantage and we go back to the corner

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


56mins

This time the Saints' forwards get a good shove on, forcing Falcons to try and play. The ball goes left and right, but the lime green line holds, and when there's a mix-up between two of the home forwards it gives Saints a scrum 10 metres out from their own line

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


57mins

The scrum was good, but Wilson's clearance stayed infield, inviting Tait to run the ball back. This he does, but it's Powell who does the damage, cutting past a dog-legged defensive line and combining with Mark Wilson and Chris York. The ball is recycled quickly and it's no surprise when the retreating Saints are penalised for offside. Meanwhile referee Andrew Small goes to the TMO, but there's no further action taken and we come back for the penalty

NEWCASTLE 6 SAINTS 19


58mins

This time Clegg goes for the sticks, making no mistake. Given the amount of pressure Saints have been under it's not a bad result, but the visitors could do with a score. Meanwhile Gareth Denman comes on for Ma'afu in the front row

NEWCASTLE 9 SAINTS 19


59mins

A good kick from Myler puts the Falcons under pressure, who clear only to the 22. But Saints don't win the lineout, and Blair comes close to breaking the line, only being snared by Sam Dickinson. The defence stays in the Falcons' faces though, forcing a fumble on the home 22. Replacements for Saints, Ethan Waller replacing Alex in the front row, and GJ Van Velze coming on for Clark

NEWCASTLE 9 SAINTS 19


62mins

The scrum is solid, Elliott comes off his wing, and when Falcons don't release in the tackle Myler goes for goal from the 22. The kick is in front of the sticks and the fly half makes no mistake

NEWCASTLE 9 SAINTS 22


64mins

Saints win the kick off cleanly enough, but their clearance kicking in this half has not been as good as it could have been and Falcons run the ball back. The line chase is good though and while the hosts go wide a crucial pass goes forward for a Saints scrum, 5 metres inside their own half and 15 metres out from the near touchline. Ben Nutley comes on for Day

NEWCASTLE 9 SAINTS 22


65mins

Frustration for both teams, Saints conceding a free kick at the scrum, but Falcons seeing the ball hit the deck and be hacked back into their own 22. But while Saints have the lineout Falcons come up with another crucial steal, and when Ken Pisi fumbles Blair's box kick it gives the hosts a scrum on halfway

NEWCASTLE 9 SAINTS 22


68mins

Again Saints find themselves on their own 22 having conceded a penalty at the scrum after Falcons get a nudge on. But again the defence is solid, winning a penalty for Wilson to clear to just shy of halfway

NEWCASTLE 9 SAINTS 22


70mins

Even when Saints get some good possession together they aren't getting the decisions. Some neat passing allows Elliott to kick ahead, and while Falcons clear the ball stays in play and none of their players are deemed to be offside, despite not apparently retreating. Eventually Falcons win a penalty, but Nutley recovers and overthrow to put the hosts on the back foot

NEWCASTLE 9 SAINTS 22


73mins

Nutley's catch gives Saints an opportunity to play, and they eventually win a lineout on the far side. Ross McMillan (for Haywood) and Fa'atoina Autagavaia (for Ken Pisi) come into the fray in time for a Falcons scrum, the ball having hit the floor, and they're soon having to retreat with their team mates after Denman is penalised

NEWCASTLE 9 SAINTS 22


75mins

A wonky throw becomes a scrum, which in turns becomes a penalty for backchat. But while Wilson's touchfinder is a good one Falcons have the number of the Saints lineout, winning against the throw. The hosts go through some phases before losing the ball midway inside the visitors' half, but while Saints have a scrum time is running out to get the bonus point

NEWCASTLE 9 SAINTS 22


77mins

Try for Newcastle, and while they deserve a score for the pressure they've had it's a frustration for the Saints. They were sending the ball down the backline, but a loose pass goes to Noah Cato, who runs in unopposed. Joel Hodgson's conversion is bang on the money and we're now in a 7-point ball game

NEWCASTLE 16 SAINTS 22


80mins

Saints get a decent drive on in their last possession, but Falcons defence holds to win a lineout. Their pack puts a good maul together, but although they're in reach of what would have been a spectacular winning score the hosts settle for a bonus point, Warren Fury sending the ball into touch

NEWCASTLE 16 SAINTS 22


FT

Where the Saints were good in the first half they were off the pace in the second. The visitors cruised to their three tries in the opening 40, but after the break they could not keep any sort of control, conceding too many penalties and giving Newcastle opportunities to stay on the front foot. Still a win is a win, and next week it's back to Franklin's Gardens to face Gloucester

NEWCASTLE 16 SAINTS 22


TEAMS

NEWCASTLE Tait; Cato Tiesi, Helleur, Shortland; Clegg, Blair; Vickers, Thompson, Tomaszczyk, MacLeod, McKenzie. Wilson, Welch (capt), Hogg


Replacements - McGuigan, Strain, Brookes, Tomes, York, Fury, Hodgson, Powell


SAINTS Wilson; K Pisi, G Pisi, Stephenson, Elliott; Myler, Fotuali'i; A Waller, Haywood, Ma'afu, Manoa, C Day, Clark, Dowson (capt), Dickinson


Replacements - McMillan, E Waller, Denman, Van Velze, Nutley, A Day, Dickson, Autagavaia


ATTENDANCE 4,846


REFEREE Andrew Small


TIMELINE

7mins SAINTS Try Wilson 0-5

10mins FALCONS Pen Clegg 3-5

16mins SAINTS Try Stephenson Con Myler 3-12

19mins FALCONS Pen Clegg 6-12

24mins FALCONS Miss pen Clegg

34mins SAINTS Try Wilson Con Myler 3-19

HALF-TIME FALCONS 6 SAINTS 19

57mins FALCONS Pen Clegg 9-19

62mins SAINTS Pen Myler 9-22

77mins FALCONS Try Cato Con Hodgson 16-22

FULL-TIME FALCONS 16 SAINTS 22