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Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 22-23 Wasps

28 Sep 2018
Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 22-23 Wasps

Lima Sopoaga’s late long-range penalty proved invaluable as Wasps picked up their third successive Gallagher Premiership Rugby away win with a tense victory against Newcastle Falcons.

Sopoaga struck from distance to put Wasps ahead with just eight minutes to go at Kingston Park, a lead they valiantly held on to despite more than 20 Falcons phases in the last attack.

Johnny Williams scored twice for the hosts in a battle between two of last year’s semi-finalists, while Mark Wilson also touched down for a side chasing their first home win of the season.

But Wasps denied them that honour, Josh Bassett and Marcus Watson scoring before the break before Juan de Jongh’s try helped them to a fourth win of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby campaign.

Wasps earned the first score in magnificent fashion, with Bassett chasing down a bouncing ball that seemed to be going dead cause only to reach the it first and dot down in the corner after a weighted kick by Sopoaga.

But Newcastle responded in kind with their own magic, the twinkle toes of Sinoti Sinoti seeing him break through three tackles before offloading to Wilson to touch down.

The running rugby certainly didn’t disappoint and Falcons were ahead on the half-hour, Flood breaking through before feeding Williams to score under the posts.

But, after a Flood penalty, Wasps clawed their way back to 15-13 on the stroke of half-time, with Sopoaga popping the ball over the top for Watson to score in the corner, a set-up not out of place on the basketball court.

After the break the to-and-fro nature continued as more strong running from Sinoti saw he and Williams link up once again, with the centre running in his second try of the evening.

These two sides had combined for 175 points in their past three meetings and it was easy to see why on the hour mark, De Jongh cutting a strong line and perfectly meeting a Sopoaga pass to go over and reduce the arrears to 22-20.

Wasps had not been ahead since the 18th minute but were back in front as fly-half Sopoaga kicked a penalty superbly from distance, introducing a one-point game heading into the final five minutes.

Newcastle were not done there and had one last attack stretching five minutes in the red and 25 phases, with a forward pass at the inopportune moment denying them a win on home soil.

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