London Irish fly-half Shane Geraghty upstaged England’s Jonny Wilkinson with 23 points as Newcastle were thrashed by the Exiles.
The 20-year-old was included in Brian Ashton’s new-look England training squad last month before dropping down after Wilkinson’s return from injury.
Despite the return of England internationals Toby Flood, Mathew Tait and Wilkinson to the Falcons’ backline, Geraghty and veteran Mike Catt masterminded a fourth domestic win on the spin for Irish, with the home side scoring 24 unanswered points in the first half at the Madejski Stadium.
Despite great early movement by the Falcons, Newcastle fell foul of an early Delon Armitage interception, the Irish flyer then winning a penalty which was easily converted by Geraghty.
Geraghty missed two kickable penalties soon after but atoned for his earlier errors before the break, picking out prop Tonga Lea’aetoa to crash over from close range.
The sin-binning of Falcons’ prop Joe McDonnell saw the Irish run riot, Geraghty kicking to the corner and Robbie Russell touching down after a catch and drive from the Exiles pack.
The demoralised Newcastle defence was breached yet again just before the half hour mark as Seilala Mapusua scored with Geraghty adding his third conversion.
Minutes later three consecutive penalties for the Falcons were all sent to the corner by Wilkinson, but each time Newcastle’s rolling maul failed to make any real ground.
Eventually the Falcons marked up some points as England’s Toby Flood finished off a long period of Newcastle play. Shortly after, Wilkinson secured his first attempt of the afternoon, landing a precious penalty.
Within three minutes the visitors finally seemed to find another gear as they stretched the Irish defence, allowing substitute Ollie Phillips to reduce the deficit.
Despite some indecisiveness with the ball, Wilkinson managed to dissect the Irish defence 15 metres out late on, but with no support he was quickly turned over.
Six minutes from time Wilkinson was replaced and barely a minute later Geraghty broke through a mass of Newcastle players to hurl himself under the posts, converting what he had created.
And then Geraghty guaranteed he would steal the headlines, repeating the trick as he broke through from only 10 metres out for his sixth try of the season, his conversion sailing over.