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Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 26 Leicester Tigers 14

Director of rugby Dean Richards refused to take any credit after Newcastle Falcons moved off the bottom of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with an impressive victory over Leicester Tigers.

Newcastle had not beaten Leicester in the league since March 2009 but first-half tries from Simon Hammersley and Adam Powell put them in the driving seat at Kingston Park.

Laurence Pearce pulled one back for the Tigers but 13 points from the boot of former Tigers fly-half Andy Goode and some fearsome defence ensured the hosts stayed out of reach.

The win is their third on the bounce on home soil and Richards admits his side have found a nice run of form since the turn of the year.

“Our form has been really good,” he said. “The boys have worked really hard, they are putting their bodies on the line week in, week out and they want the wins. They want to go out there and show what they’re worth.

“It’s absolutely nothing to do with the coaches, it is down to the players who want to go out there and do it.

“The momentum is there and the boys love it. You should see the changing room at the moment – they love the winning feeling and there is nothing better.

“We know we have got some big games coming up and it’s going to be hard, it really is. We have got a few bumps and bruises and a few boys out but a few boys to come back as well.”

Leicester, who were beaten at home by Sale Sharks last weekend, left the North East without so much as a losing bonus point to their name and could be overtaken by fourth-place Harlequins on Saturday.

And director of rugby Richard Cockerill admits his side have plenty to work on when they return to training next week.

“I’m disappointed,” he said. “We got exactly what we deserved. We got beaten at every contact point, Newcastle wanted it more than us and they deserved their win.

“In the last couple of weeks we have suffered with the physicality a little bit. We started well tonight and then we dropped off our accuracy. When we turned the ball over and gave Newcastle opportunities, they took them.

“We knew they would be very tough, direct, well-organised and we were none of those things. We need to get back on the training field and we need to sort a few things out.”
Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley; Tait, Harris, Powell (Socino 58), Watson; Goode (Willis 65), Young; Vickers, Lawson (McGuigan 65), Vea (Hatakeyama 65); Wilson, Robinson; Welsh, Latu (Botha 79), Hogg
Replacements not used: Rogers, Tuilagi, Takalua
Leicester Tigers: Veainu; Betham, Tait, Smith (Roberts 51), Camacho; Burns (Bryant 74), Harrison (Kitto 58); Ayerza (Mulipola 55), Ghiraldini (Thacker 50), Balmain; Fitzgerald (De Chaves 44), Kitchener; Croft, McCaffrey, Crane (Pearce 50)
Replacements not used: Brugnara
Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Hammersley, Powell
Conversions: Goode 2
Penalties: Goode 3, Willis
Leicester Tigers
Tries: Pearce
Penalties: Burns 3
Referee: Greg Garner
Attendance: 6, 207

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