Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 39 Sale Sharks 19

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards admits he has some selection headaches after his side produced an imperious display to down Sale Sharks in the LV= Cup.

After losing their first two games in the competition, the Falcons responded in style as winger Lee Smith grabbed himself a double in the 39-19 win at Kingston Park.

Alex Rogers and Josh Furno dotted down from the back of driving mauls while No. 8 Uili Kolo’ofai also crossed the whitewash as the hosts racked up five tries.

Sale did grab a consolation score through Viliami Fihaki but, in truth, Steve Diamond’s men were overpowered by a physically imposing, well-drilled Falcons outfit.

Their pack dominated proceedings throughout and, while he didn’t grab himself a try, veteran lock Scott MacLeod was the star of the show, according to Richards.

“The beauty for me at the moment is that any side I put out is going to be competitive and we'll always try and give players as many opportunities as possible,” explained Richards.

“Scotty MacLeod was man of the match in his first game for some time and his line-out work was exceptional and was instrumental in our scores.

“We have some experienced campaigners and some good youngsters coming through. The competition for places is right up there and the likes of MacLeod are putting pressure on all the other guys.

“That's the fifth game on the trot where we have scored a try bonus point.

“At the start of the season we were missing tries and finding it really frustrating as we chased a bonus point and all of a sudden it's clicked in and we're starting to get what we're after.

“We are playing a really good brand of rugby at the moment and it's very pleasing.”

Newcastle’s opening two LV= Cup losses mean they cannot qualify for the semi-finals from Pool 3 but will travel to London Irish next weekend looking to take some momentum back into Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Sale, who handed first starts to the likes of Ciaran Parker, TJ Ioane and George Nott, are in a similar situation to the Falcons as they can no longer catch Pool 2 leaders Cardiff Blues.

Their youthful line-up saw three players, Nathan Fowles, Joe Ford and Nott spend time in the sin-bin but director of rugby Diamond was quick to praise the opposition.

“I thought one of the sin-binnings was justified but to be given three was a little bit harsh but well done to Newcastle, they played well,” said Diamond.

“We have five big weeks coming up and we have to make the best of it we can.”
 
Newcastle Falcons: Tait; Smith, Helleur, Tuilagi (Hammersley 63), Barnes; Clegg (Godman 60), Tipuna (Blair 60); Fry (Vickers 66), Hawkins (Lawson 73), Rogers (Irving 66); Furno, MacLeod; Mayhew (Robinson 54), Saull, Kolo'ofai (Hogg 31).
 
Yellow Card: Saull
 
Sale Sharks: McLean; Brady, Forsyth, Bedlow (James 66), Mackenzie; Ford (Macleod 63), Fowles; de Marchi (Cobilas 63), Taylor (Mamukashvili 40), Parker (Flynn 64); Ostrikov, Nott; Easter, Ioane (Hughes 40), Fihaki.
Subs unused: Cliff, Hines
 
Yellow Cards: Fowles, Ford, Nott
 
Scorers
 
Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Rogers, Smith 2, Kolo'ofai
Conversions: Clegg 2, Godman
Penalties: Clegg 2
 
Sale Sharks
Tries: Fihaki
Conversion: Macleod
Penalties: Ford 4
 
Referee: Rhys Thomas
Attendance: 4,713

Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale. Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.

Latest News

Owen Farrell wary of Glasgow Warriors threat

Revenge for the RBS 6 Nations may be on the minds of Glasgow Warriors’ players when they visit Saracens in…

Biyi Alo: Worcester Warriors cannot afford to take foot off the gas

Worcester Warriors prop Biyi Alo believes his side must continue to look up the table ahead of their Aviva Premiership…

Jacob Rowan, Billy Vunipola, Christian Wade and Jeremy Thrush star in OPTA Rugby Rankings

Saracens No.8 Billy Vunipola was back to his rampaging best in his club’s crucial Aviva Premiership Rugby victory over Bath…

Referee appointments for EPCR quarter-finals

It is not only Aviva Premiership Rugby’s playing stars that will be under the spotlight this weekend in the European…

Six exciting prospects join Harlequins Academy for 2017/18 season

Harlequins is today (Wednesday 29th March) proud to announce that six members of the Club's victorious U18s side will join…

Twickenham Stoop

Denny Solomona; “I’ve been here three years and it’s the choice I want to make”

Sale Sharks flying winger Denny Solomona is now eligible to play for England after receiving notification from the RFU. Speaking…

Denny Solomona

Saints community coaching helps Royal Latin reach Twickenham

This afternoon the first team from Buckingham’s Royal Latin School will be running out at Twickenham, thanks to the coaching…

Italy prop Michele Rizzo agrees new deal with Leicester Tigers

Italy international prop Michele Rizzo has agreed a new contract with Leicester Tigers. Rizzo has returned from injury to take…

Michele Rizzo

Former Scotland skipper Andy Nicol looks ahead to exciting Champions Cup clashes

As an ex-Glasgow Warrior Andy Nicol is delighted to see the Scotstoun outfit side reach the quarter-finals of the Champions…

RFU Disciplinary Hearing: Bryce Heem

The charge against Bryce Heem of Worcester Warriors for tackling the jumper in the air, contrary to law 10.4(i), was…

Bryce Heem

Saracens to thank Emergency Services at Derby Day

Saracens are offering complimentary tickets to any member of the London Emergency Services for the upcoming Derby Day clash against…

Wembley

Champions Cup semi-final venues announced

BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton, as well as three French stadiums – the Allianz…

Fly-half Josh Lewis signs for Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to welcome fly-half Josh Lewis, who will join the Club from Ebbw Vale for the 2017/18…

Josh Lewis

Don Armand targeting big final push with Exeter Chiefs

Don Armand insists Exeter Chiefs will make the most of time off to ensure they are in fine fettle for…

Don Armand

RFU Disciplinary: Bryce Heem

Bryce Heem of Worcester Warriors will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel this evening charged with tackling the jumper in…

Gloucester Rugby respond to rumours regarding Carl Fearns

Gloucester Rugby have today responded to a story in the French press alleging that Carl Fearns will not be joining…

Kingsholm