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Newcastle soar past Worcester

05 Sep 2004
Newcastle soar past Worcester

But the Warriors did themselves justice – keeping the star-studded Falcons machine honest for sustained periods of the game – while Newcastle fly-half Jonny Wilkinson revealed that he has lost little as he claimed a personal haul of 15 points.

Wilkinson, who was playing his first Premiership game since recovering form a serious neck and shoulder injury, will be seen as pivotal to England's November Test  schedule and he will have given acting coach Andy Robinson cause for relief.

Worcester opened their account first with a penalty by fly-half James Brown and – unlike Rotherham last season – the Warriors could prove the undoing of some of the bigger sides in the Premiership.

Newcastle were forced on the defensive in the opening encounters and Worcester went 6-0 up courtesy of another Brown penalty, before the Falcons launched an attack that saw Wilkinson cut the deficit by three.

Wilkinson missed his second penalty attempt, but the Falcons hit back quickly when new-signing Mike McCarthy went over for the opening try. Wilkinson converted to stretch the lead.

Warriors lock Craig Gillies went over after a 20-metre spring, but he was called back for an earlier infringement – and the writing was on the wall for the hosts as Wilkinson slotted two more penalties before the break.

But Worcester hung on when replacement fly-half Tommy Hayes closed the gap to 16-9 with a penalty after the break. Hopes of a comeback were soon put to bed, however, when Falcons centre Mark Mayerhofler broke through the defence to score his team's second of the afternoon.

Wilkinson converted to give them a handy cushion, before lock Stuart Grimes clinched the Falcons' victory with a try three minutes from full-time. Wilkinson then had the final say as he banged over the conversion. 

The scorers:

For Worcester:Pens: Brown 2, Hayes

For Newcastle:Tries: McCarthy, Mayerhofler, GrimesCons: Wilkinson 3Pens: Wilkinson 3

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