Falcons topple Braves to host Saracens in Shield final
Newcastle Falcons booked themselves a home Premiership Rugby Shield final as an Adam Radwan-inspired performance saw them down Exeter Braves 54-12.
The seven-try Falcons translated their relentless form across the season into the knockouts to set up the showpiece against Saracens Storm on Monday 13 May.
After a relentless first half that saw the hosts race into a 28-7 lead at the break, the Falcons did not let up in the second 40 as they maintained their imperious numbers, the competition’s most prolific offence and miserly defence once again delivering.
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Radwan was at the heart of things from the off as his incisive break set up Ben Stevenson to catch the Braves cold and open the scoring at Kingston Park after just three minutes of play.
Great shift from this lot tonight pic.twitter.com/vlVAm6uGrp
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) May 6, 2019
Radwan turned finisher eight minutes later when he gathered a George Wacokecoke offload to dive over dramatically, before Falcons grabbed a third, this time from Wacokecoke himself.
The irrepressible Radwan dotted down his second of the night – making it 12 on the season for the exciting winger, equalling the competition record – finishing off a slick move down the line after Jamie Blamire’s initial break.
The Braves managed to snatch a score before the break through Jack Innard and looked to regain a foothold in the game as they kept Newcastle at bay for the opening stages of the second 40 before notching a second when Harry Strong crossed in the corner.
But the Falcons refused to be shaken and showed their quality to respond immediately and quell any notion of a comeback, Connor Collett getting his name on the scoresheet.
And there was still time for a couple more efforts from first Tim Swiel and then Sam Stuart, both of them electric efforts, while Brett Connon stayed perfect from the tee, slotting both conversions to make it seven from seven on the night.
The win means that Falcons will claim home advantage in the competition’s final by virtue of their superior record over Saracens during the regular season, as they look to back up their pedigree and win what would be a maiden Premiership Rugby Shield title.