Grenoble's 31-27 win puts Newcastle Falcons in trouble

Dean Richards' men ended on the losing side on Friday
Dean Richards' men ended on the losing side on Friday

Grenoble 31-27 Newcastle Falcons, Stade des Alpes

Grenoble scored three tries in the final quarter as they sealed a thrilling 31-27 win over Newcastle Falcons in their European Challenge Cup encounter at Stade des Alpes on Friday.

The Falcons had a lead of three points heading into the final five minutes but Grenoble centre Fabrice Estebanez crossed over in the 76th minute to seal the first win in this season for the home team.

Earlier, it was Newcastle Falcons centre Chris Harris, who went past the line in the ninth minute and fly-half Craig Willis added the conversion to take a 7-0 lead but it was soon negated when Grenoble scrum-half David Mele and fly-half Gilles Bosch scored a try and a conversion.

A 33rd minute penalty from Willis ensured the visitors had a slender three-point lead heading into half-time.

The scores were levelled once Bosch added his first penalty in the 42nd minute replacement Calum Green gave Newcastle Falcons clear advantage when he rumbled past the line five minutes later. A conversion and a penalty from Willis meant Dean Richards' men had a 10-point lead as the game entered the final quarter.

The 61st minute saw Green being sin-binned and also a penalty try was awarded to Grenoble while replacement Etienne Fourcade and Estebanez crossed on either side of Scott Wilson's try to seal a four-point win for Grenoble.

Falcons are placed third in the table and have Lyon ahead of them at second position with a slender two point difference advantage.