Match Centre: Newcastle Falcons 52-27 London Irish

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards

Newcastle Falcons 52-27 London Irish, Kingston Park

George McGuigan and Sean Robinson scored doubles as Newcastle Falcons stunned London Irish with a 52-27 win at Kingston Park in the 18th round of the Gallagher Premiership.

This was the first time the Falcons have crossed the 50-point mark but are still at 11th place in the table with 35 points while London Irish are at sixth position with 43 points.

London Irish got off to a promising start as Nick Phipps switched play to the left flank allowing Tom Parton to dive in the left corner in the 7th minute but Paddy Jackson's conversion went wide.

The Falcons made a strong comeback in the 26th minute after Irish conceded a series of penalties and Louis Schreuder opted for a quick tap allowing McGuigan to score his opening try and five minutes later they doubled their tally with Robinson diving from close range. Brett Connon kicked both the conversions to make the scoreline 14-3.

The Exiles though had a strong finish to the opening half with Jackson sending a grubber kick allowing Ben Loader to dot down. Jackson also kicked the conversion and a penalty on either side as the teams went into the break with a 14-15 scoreline.

Newcastle dominated the opening exchanges at the start of the second half with Louis Schreuder touching down after Callum Chick sent a perfect offload and Connon kicked the conversion to make it 21-15. Their momentum took a boost as London Irish lost Curtis Rona to yellow card in the 46th minute for a high tackle on Matias Orlando.

With the numerical advantage on their side, Newcastle took the game in control and went on to claim the bonus point with McGuigan completed his second try and Ben Stevenson also followed the suit in the 50th and 54th minutes respectively making it 35-15. Even though the Exiles clawed their way back into the game through tries from Phil Cokanasiga and Motu Matu'u that brought the gap down to nine points heading into the final 10 minutes.

Nevertheless, Penny scored in the left corner to provide some comfort for the Falcons and Robinson scored his second with a dive from close range in the 78th minute. Connon maintained his perfect game with his seventh conversion to complete a 25-point victory.

Team line up:

Newcastle Falcons: Penny; Radwan, Orlando, Burrell, Stevenson; Connon, Schreuder; Davison, McGuigan, Mulipola, Peterson, Robinson, Welch, Wilson, Chick.

Reserves: Blamire, Cooper, Tampin, Van der Walt, Fearns, Stuart, Hodgson, Wacokecoke.

London Irish: Parton; Loader, Rona, Cokanasiga, Hassell-Collins; Jackson, Phipps; Goodrick-Clarke, Creevy, Chawatama, Nott, Simmons, Rogerson, Cowan, Tuisue.

Reserves: Matu'u, Gigena, Hoskins, Munga, Donnell, Groom, Atkins, Stokes.

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

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