Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 19 Sale Sharks 17

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards believes his side still have plenty more in their locker this season, despite breaking a nine-year opening day hoodoo in Aviva Premiership Rugby.

A single try from Sinoti Sinoti and four Mike Delany penalties were enough for Newcastle to down Sale Sharks 19-17 at Kingston Park – although the visitors had the chance to steal the win with the last kick of the game.

Tries from Johnny Leota and Byron McGuigan in the second half had brought Sale back into the contest, but ultimately it was not enough as replacement fly-half Dan Mugford’s dramatic final kick sailed wide of the target.

And while Richards admitted it felt good to shake off an unwanted record, after going eight seasons without winning their first Aviva Premiership Rugby encounter, he knows his side can play even better.

“The players have been talking about it for a while. Not necessarily the nine years, but just about getting this first win under our belt,” he said.

“I am not saying they didn’t last year or the year before, but there was a real player-driven focus and you could sense it all week.

“To be fair to Sale they came and they were competitive all the way through. We didn’t take our chances as much as we should have done and they took theirs, other than that final kick of course.

“If it had gone over we’d have been feeling pretty aggrieved but at the same time we’d have only had ourselves to blame.

“We just sat down in the changing room and talked about it as a squad, and said that if we played to our strengths and how we wanted to play in terms of our shapes, we would have been much further ahead.

“But we didn’t do that on the day and that’s a tad disappointing – we won at least, but there is plenty more to come from us which is a nice thing.”

The Sharks lost both their debutants to injuries, with No.10 AJ MacGinty replaced at half-time having taken a knock to his back, following hooker Rob Webber’s broken arm.

But with Newcastle leading throughout the contest, director of rugby Steve Diamond conceded his side did not really deserve their late shot at glory.

He said: “At least we got a bonus point. But I’m just a bit frustrated by our performance. We just got cleared out on the floor and we conceded a lot of penalties and we’ll have to look at that.

“We managed to have a shot in the last minute and it would probably have been a bit unfair if we’d won but I would have taken it.

“Newcastle is always a difficult place to come and get a result and they kept their shape well and caused us a few problems.

“We lost a couple of players with injuries with Rob Webber suffering a broken arm and AJ MacGinty a back injury so we took him off as a precaution at half-time.”

Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley, Goneva, Harris, Socino (Waldouck 72), Sinoti, Delany, Takulua, Welsh, Lawson, Vea (Rogers 50), Green, Witty (Fonua 72), Olmstead, Welch, Wilson
Not used: Sowrey, Lockwood, Chick, Egerton, Hodgson

Sale Sharks: McGuigan, Addison, James, Leota, Edwards, MacGinty (Mugford 41), Phillips, Lewis-Roberts (Flynn 57), Webber (Briggs 31), Aulika (Longbottom 57), Evans, Ostrikov (Mills 60), Beaumont, Ioane, Pearce (Seymour 41)
Not used: Lund, Mitchell

Newcastle Falcons
Try: Sinoti
Conversion: Delany
Penalties: Delany 4

Sale Sharks
Tries: Leota, McGuigan
Conversions: Mugford 2
Penalty: MacGinty

Referee: Greg Garner
Attendance: 5,523

Aviva Premiership Rugby returns this weekend. For a full fixture list please click here

Latest News

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…