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Falcons spoil Jonny’s homecoming party

08 Dec 2011
Falcons spoil Jonny’s homecoming party

Newcastle Falcons continued their winning start to the Amlin Challenge Cup after edging out Toulon 6-3 in an eventless affair in Pool Two.

Jonny Wilkinson's return to Kingston Park caught all the headlines in the build-up to the clash but he did not get off the bench and it was the man that replaced him at Newcastle, Jimmy Gopperth, who clinched the victory.

The match remained scoreless at the interval following a dour first half in which the gale-force winds battering the UK took a major toll.

But the Falcons edged into a 3-0 lead five minutes after the restart thanks to the boot of Gopperth. And the Kiwi doubled their lead with a long-range penalty on 48 minutes before Toulon quickly hit back through Julien Dumora.

Euan Murray came agonisingly close to burrowing over for an all-important try on 56 minutes but Toulon won a crucial penalty from the ensuing scrum.

The under-strength Top 14 outfit continued to press in the final minutes but conceded a penalty to let Newcastle off the hook.

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