Wilkinson’s short-term replacement – Samoan veteran Earl Va’a was carried off with a pulled hamstring before half-time had even arrived, but by then the north-easterners had already conceded four tries to a rampant Bristol.
Backs Andy Higgins and Phil Christophers helped themselves to a pair each on the day, with fly-half Felipe Contepomi and wing Brendan Daniel grabbing the other scores on a day which saw Newcastle also pick up injuries to hooker Matt Dawson and back rower Richard Arnold.
Newcastle’s only try of the day came from Tongan Epi Taione in the second half, but by then the Shoguns had already well and truly wrapped up the points, as well as a bonus point.
For Bristol Shoguns:Tries: Higgins 2, Christophers 2, Contepomi, DanielCons: Contepomi 4
For Newcastle Falcons:Try: TaioneCon: BothamPen: Va’a