Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 17-6 Worcester Warriors
What a momentous day Sunday was in Gallagher Premiership Rugby for Newcastle Falcons.
Prior to their game with Worcester the Falcons had lost five straight Gallagher Premiership matches and were in danger of getting cut adrift at the bottom – they’ve now sliced the gap between themselves and the Warriors to just five points.
Zach Kibirige and Toby Flood were the try-scoring heroes for Falcons in the first half at Kingston Park, with Flood adding two conversions and a penalty to overcome Duncan Weir’s two three-pointers.
Both sides remained scoreless in the second half as the pressure built – things at the bottom are tightening heading into March.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kibirige deserves plenty of plaudits for his third try in two games, and what a try it was too, but fly-half Toby Flood is the man who steered the ship home for a solid victory.
Flood was excellent throughout, ghosting through a gap following an attacking scrum for his try and adding seven points with the boot, but most importantly controlling the game with aplomb and keeping the Warriors in the areas they didn’t want to be.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
The final whistle in front of 8,005 supporters at Kingston Park must have felt like an eruption in the North East.
The Newcastle fans have endured five losses in solidarity with the playing squad but after an intense, wet and windy second half that final whistle finally came, Worcester’s malfunctioning lineout in the final ten minutes releasing some of the pressure along the way.
TRY OF THE MATCH
We only had to wait six minutes for the try of the match as 24-year-old Kibirige gave us the latest display of his searing pace.
Falcons got off to the perfect start as the wing grabbed his try in wonderful style, picking up from a loose ruck in the centre of the pitch and accelerating away to sprint in under the posts from 30 metres.
WHAT THEY SAID
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Worcester are a difficult team to beat, but I thought in the first half we tore them apart.
“We didn’t quite keep up that intensity in the second half, and had we done so we might have been sat here with five points.
“That’s not to de-cry their ability, it was just down to the high intensity with which we had trained all week and the momentum we took into the game.
“I thought we were fantastic in the first half – we scored two great tries and probably should have had a couple more – but that’s life.
“We didn’t quite take that same intensity into the second half and deliver it over the 80 minutes, which I feel we can do, quite easily.”
BEST OF SOCIAL
Zach Kibirige from out of nowhere! ⚡️
The Newcastle Falcons man spots an opportunity and races through under the posts. pic.twitter.com/aktVunyiWF
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) March 3, 2019
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) March 3, 2019
👏 We appreciate all the support today – a long way from home.
Safe travels back. pic.twitter.com/ibjQxIsKj3
— Worcester Warriors ⚔️ (@WorcsWarriors) March 3, 2019
So subtle I didn't even spot it at first. 😂 https://t.co/FrPh0mgnuy
— Ali Stokes (@alistokesrugby) March 3, 2019
Newcastle Falcons beat Worcester Warriors 17-6, but no bonus points for either side, which means #BristolBears stay 10th and have a nine point gap to bottom place Newcastle, and four point advantage over the Warriors.
Pat Lam's side are just five points off sixth. #CmonBris
— John Evely (@JohnEvely_BPost) March 3, 2019