Match Centre: Challenge Cup: Newcastle 19-24 Montpellier

Sam Simmonds was one of the try scorer for Montpellier
Sam Simmonds was one of the try scorer for Montpellier

Newcastle 19-24 Montpellier, Pool 2, Kingston Park

Newcastle Falcons' losing streak continued as they were edged out by Montpellier with a 24-19 margin in the opening round of the European Challenge Cup at Kingston Park.

The visitors opened the account in the 13th minute as Alexandre Becognee picked up from close range to score near the posts and Louis Carbonel improved to make it 0-7.

Newcastle exerted pressure with Bryan Byrne and Murray McCallum pressing forward but a knock on meant they continued to remain without a score.

Montpellier further stretched their lead with their second try coming through Ben Lam in the 25th minute after collecting a midfield line-break but this time Carbonel missed out on the conversion as they extended the lead to 0-12 at the end of the opening half.

The French side continued their momentum into the second half as captain Anthony Bouthier glided in the left corner but his effort was negated with Newcastle skipper Callum Chick dived in the right corner and was awarded a try after a consultation with the TMO.

The Falcons continued to claw their way back into the game as centre Ollie Spencer kicked the ball for Oli Spencer to dot down but Montpellier claimed the bonus point with Sam Simmonds scoring with support from Carbonel, who kicked the extras to make it 12-24.

Montpellier were down to 14 players temporarily as George Bridge was sin-binned with hooker Jamie Blamire scoring their third try and Louie Johnson improving for the Falcons despite which the visitors completed a five point victory.

Team line up:

Newcastle: Redshaw, Radwan, Spencer, Orlando, Stephens, Jennings, Elliott; Brantingham, Byrne, McCallum, Hawkins, De Chaves, Lockwood, Cross, Chick.

Reserves: Blamire, Brocklebank, Tampin, Cardall, Leatherbarrow, O'Sullivan, Johnson, Kerr.

Montpellier: Bouthier, Bridge, Darmon, Cadot, Lam, Carbonel, Coly; Fichten, Karkadze, Williams, Tauleigne, DuGuid, Doumenc, Becognee, Simmonds.

Reserves: Sonzogni, Tu'inukuafe, Lamositele, Chalureau, Foguet, Foursans-Bourdette, Dakuwaqa, Lucas.