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Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 20-23 Newcastle Falcons

Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 20-23 Newcastle Falcons

Toby Flood’s late penalty earned Newcastle Falcons their first Gallagher Premiership Rugby win of the season and left Worcester Warriors still waiting for theirs.

The Falcons – semi-finalists last year but with two losses from two before their trip to Sixways – raced into the lead thanks to scores from Sonatane Takulua and Sinoti Sinoti.

Flood converted both but the Warriors came back thanks to Duncan Weir’s penalty and a penalty try on the stroke of half time.

But despite having both Johnny Williams and George McGuigan in the sin bin at the start of the second half, the Falcons extended their lead thanks to Flood’s boot.

Weir hit back with a try and a conversion to level things up at 17-17, but Flood held his nerve to slot two penalties to Chris Pennell’s one and secure a vital win.

MAN OF THE MATCH 

Toby Flood might be 33, but he still has the class to control a game at this level.

He slotted 13 points from the kicking tee to lift the Falcons to a morale-boosting victory after defeats to Saracens and Leicester Tigers to kick off their campaign.

He also showed some nice touches with ball in hand including a clever inside pass to release Sinoti for the Falcons’ second try.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH 

Sami Mavinga has not wasted much time in making an impact at Falcons.

The former Lyon prop hits hard, carries with gusto and gets on with his work at the set-piece.

And it was his searing break that laid on the first try of the match for the Falcons, breaking clear and finding Takulua on a support line to go over

TRY OF THE MATCH

Ryan Mills’ perfectly judged grubber kick bounced up perfectly for Weir to score the Warriors’ second try after the break.

That score levelled up proceedings, but the Falcons were not to be denied in the end.

WHAT THEY SAID

Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons said:

“Our game management at key moments in the game wasn’t good enough.

“Our line-outs struggled today and we weren’t accurate enough in our execution. I think we paid the price for that.”

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said:

“We knew it was going to be difficult, our record down here has not been great over the last five or six years.

“Straight after half-time we challenged the players to go and score and sure enough within a few minutes we took three points.

“That set the tone in terms of we weren’t going to be bullied when we were down to 13 men.

“We were pleased with the way we started but we always knew Worcester would come back into it, because they’re a good side.

“We were left in a bit of strife at two men down but we battled on, and that was the key time for us. We didn’t panic even when we shipped the two tries, and that really does say a lot about our character. We stood firm, and we moved on from that spell.

“It probably wasn’t the greatest game, truth be told, and it was disappointing that it became a bit of a dogfight. But to come away and win anywhere in this league is not easy, especially when we’ve not won here in five years.”

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