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Match Reaction: Harlequins 21-23 Newcastle Falcons

Match Reaction: Harlequins 21-23 Newcastle Falcons

Tim Swiel returned to haunt his former club as his late penalty lifted Newcastle Falcons to a dramatic win in the Premiership Rugby Cup over Harlequins at the Stoop.

Two second-half tries from Lewis Boyce and Alex Dombrandt had looked like being enough for Quins to come from behind and continue their strong start to the tournament.

But Swiel held his nerve late on – to add to tries from Pedro Bettencourt and Ben Stevenson – and that proved enough.

Demetri Catrakilis had a chance to win it at the death for Quins but his penalty fell agonsingly short and bounced back of the post pads and the Falcons survived.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Callum Chick was Newcastle Falcons’ hero in their dramatic win over Montpellier in the European Champions Cup last month.

But this time, rather than climbing from the bench, the youngster led from the front as a young Falcons side held on for the win.

The back-row forward made more than 20 tackles in his side’s valiant defensive effort.

TRY OF THE MATCH

Straight from a re-start in the first half, flanker Connor Collett charged from his own half deep into the Quins 22 with a barnstorming run.

And when the ball was spread to the right, Bettencourt took full advantage to go over untouched for a delightful team score.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Swiel’s kick from in front that proved the match winner was pretty routine but Quins could have nicked it back at the death.

However, Catrakilis’ effort fell agonisingly short and hit the post pads and went to safety as the Falcons survived.

WHAT THEY SAID

Newcastle Falcons academy head coach James Ponton: “We got ourselves fairly well in front but things stopped going our way towards the end, and we really had to grind it out.

“Our bench played a big part, they helped shore up the scrum and we got some front-foot ball as a result of that in a really crucial part of the game.

“A lot of lads fronted up, for example I was really pleased with Andrew Davidson and Glen Young in the second row, and they’ve had a real big fortnight in this competition.”

We almost conspired to give it away, we made some poor decisions which out us under pressure near the end but overall the character of the boys was superb.

“For a changed-up young side to beat a team containing a number of full internationals was a real credit to them, and I’m so proud of the effort.

“A lot of those boys I’ve known since they were 15, and it’s really rewarding to see the way they’re developing.”

Quins forwards coach Alex Codling said:

“We are disappointed, but ultimately the errors cost us. The boys showed real commitment to get back in front but too many turnovers stopped us getting the result in the end.

“We showed some really bright moments, we upped our intensity in the second half.

We put together some real phases but then turned it over and that is the fix for the next week.

But some of the young guys stood up really well in front of a home crowd and a fantastic atmosphere, and we will make improvements for next week.”

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