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WANDERERS 24 FALCONS 20 Three-try Wandies up and running

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The Aviva 'A' League started in solid fashion for the Wanderers as they ran there tries past a physical Newcastle outfit at Franklin's Gardens.

Luke Eves gave them a half-time lead with the first, while a Tom Collins double after the break ensured two scores for the visitors were only enough for a losing bonus.

Cold and rainy conditions had threatened to dampen any hopes of attacking play, but after good patient build up, the Wanderers were held up over the line and the penalty from the resulting scrum was kicked by Sam Olver to give the home side the lead.

It would be Newcastle, however, that would score the first try - Andy Tuilagi fending off the tacklers to score beside the sticks after a swerve and a shimmy put Falcons 10 Craig Willis in the clear. 

A clear pattern was established at this point, with the Falcons camped in the Wanderers 22. They were met by stout defence, however, and the Wanderers' reward came when they took the lead on the stroke of half time.

Howard Packman stepped around three defenders and while he was finally brought down, good hands from forwards and backs alike put Eves over in the opposite corner. 

The second half began much as the middle 20 of the first had gone, with the Falcons having the lion's share of both possession and territory but again met by stern Wanderers resolve.

While the line would not break, one held up effort brought about a scrum penalty, while another set piece near halfway did likewise - Willis kicking both to edge the visitors in front.

But losing the lead seemed to galvanise the hosts and when a clever cross field kick from Olver found the arms of Eves, he beat the man in front of him before offloading to Collins, who hacked forward and won the race to the line. 

After regaining the initiative, the Wanderers found confidence and the momentum of the game visibly shifted. The home side were beginning to play the game in the right areas and after good patient play it was Collins again who took the ball off the base of a ruck to scramble it over for what would prove the match winner. 

Falcons went down to 14 men 15 minutes from the end, although it was they who scored the last points of the match during the sin bin period. Centre Belisario Agulla sprung the drift defence and scythed through under the posts.

The conversion was good, but that was to be as far as the comeback went and the Wanderers held on during the final moments comfortably in enemy territory.

The Wanderers return to Aviva 'A' League action next Monday, taking on Gloucester - again at Franklins Gardens. Entry is FREE for Season Ticket Holders.

TIMELINE
6mins WAND Pen Olver 3-0
12mins FALCONS Try Tuilagi Con Willis 3-7
38mins WAND Try Eves Con Olver 10-7
HALF-TIME WAND 10 FALCONS 7
42mins FALCONS Miss pen Willis
46mins FALCONS Pen Willis 10-10
53mins FALCONS Pen Willis 10-13
55mins WAND Try Collins Con Olver 17-13
59mins WAND Try Collins Con Olver 24-13
65mins FALCONS Yellow Craggs
74mins FALCONS Try Agulla Con Willis 24-20
76mins WAND Miss DG Mallinder
FULL-TIME WAND 24 FALCONS 20

WAND - Mallinder; Packman, Howard, Stephenson, Collins; Olver, Kessell; Hobbs-Awoyenmi, Williams, Denman, Onojaife, Woolford (capt), Fisher, Harrison, Bennett

Marshall, Stout, Parkins, Moon, Allman, Mitchell, Eves, Elliott

FALCONS - Hammersley; Marshall, Agulla, Tuilagi, Tuilagi; Willis, Takulua; Harris, Hawkins, Ryan, Young, Ferreira, Chick, Craggs, Hogg (capt)

Nelson, Fry, Foster, Williams, Socino, Dawson, Cannon, Luca Smith