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Newcastle too good for Sharks

27 Oct 2002
Newcastle too good for Sharks

England stand-off Jonny Wilkinson gave the Falcons an early lead with a penalty on four minutes but that was cancelled out six minutes later when Sharks’ Nick Walshe, filling in for the injured Charlie Hodgson, notched his first penalty of the game.

Directly from the re-start, the Sharks moved ahead as winger Steve Hanley galloped in for his third try of the season after some good work from Graeme Bond, Walshe adding the extras as the visitors went 10-3 ahead.

However, gradually the Falcons pack got into gear and it was their forwards who provided the opening for the first home try, John Dunbar powering over just before the mid-way mark in the half.

Wilkinson was accurate as ever with the conversion and he was called into action four minutes later as centre Jamie Noon finished off a flowing Newcastle move to score their second try.

With Sharks struggling to find any rhythm, the Falcons first-half work wasn’t finished as their pack once again came up trumps as prop Ian Peel grabbed a try four minutes from the break, Wilkinson adding his third conversion as Newcastle went in at half-time with a 24-10 lead but not after Wilkinson had tried his lucky with a speculative penalty effort that must have been close to 65m.

Three minutes into the half, Walshe nailed his second penalty as the Sharks made some effort to reduce the deficit and could have had a second try mid-way through the half after great individual work from Jason Robinson, only thwarted by an illegal block by last defender Tom May, who was lucky not to escape with a yellow-card.

However, a messed up line-out from the resulting line-out told the story for the Sharks and down to 14 men when Phil Davies was sin-binned for pulling down a Falcons maul, Newcasltle profited soon after as Hall Charlton scampered in for the home side’s fourth try seven minutes from time earning them a deserved bonus point.

Walshe gave Sharks some consolation with their second try close to the end, to take his personal tally to 15, but it was not enough to secure a losing bonus point.

Newcastle FalconsTries: Dunbar, Noon, Peel, CharltonCons: Wilkinson 3Pens: Wilkinson

SharksTries: Hanley, WalsheCons: WalshePens: Walshe

For more news, try out Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks

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