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Match report: Newcastle Falcons 11 Harlequins 10

23 Dec 2017
Match report: Newcastle Falcons 11 Harlequins 10

Vereniki Goneva’s first-half try was enough for Newcastle Falcons as they survived a spirited Harlequins comeback to hold out for victory at Kingston Park.

Dean Richards’ side opened up an 11-point gap at the break, which was slashed to just one in the second half as the visitors rallied, as they secured their fourth win on the spin in all competitions.

Prior to the evenly-contested encounter, both sides had won five and lost five in the Aviva Premiership Rugby season so far.

The hosts, led by Mark Wilson on his 200th appearance for the Falcons, came out of the blocks quickly and dominated the opening period.

Falcons worked the scrum well on the left before play was spread via Sinoti Sinoti and Toby Flood to Goneva, who was clinical in getting past the last man to dot down.

Despite Sonatane Takulua narrowly missing the conversion, he slotted two penalties later in the half as the hosts went into the break 11-0 to the good.

Quins came out after half-time with renewed vigour and got themselves on the scoreboard within moments of the restart.

Mike Brown crashed over the whitewash for John Kingston’s side, with Marcus Smith adding the extras with the boot as Quins closed the gap.

Harlequins, led by Chris Robshaw on his 250th appearance in the famous colours, hammered away at the Newcastle backline as they looked for a way back into the contest.

They thought they had hauled themselves into the lead on 65 minutes when Mat Luamanu went to ground, but TMO ruled he had been held up.

Smith slotted a three-pointer 15 minutes from time as the visitors closed the gap to just one point, but Newcastle stood firm.