Match Reports

Harlequins errors cost against resilient Falcons

Sunday, 31st January 2016 @ 17:30

In drizzly conditions at Kingston Park, Harlequins were unable to put to bed a resilient Falcons team who scored a last minute try coming from 10-19 down to seal victory along with the help of the boot of Andy Goode.

After a disjointed first half performance from the visitors, Newcastle went into the break 10-7 up after a late Charlie Walker try on 38 minutes gave Quins their first points and some reward for their efforts going into the break.

A fantastic second half start for Quins saw Dave Ward cross over and Walker score again to put the visitors 10-19 up. However, Quins were consistently penalised by referee Luke Pearce allowing the Falcons to keep in touch with the game with Goode eventually levelling the scores at 19-19 and a late try sealing victory for the northerners.

The early stages of the game saw possession switch hands often but Newcastle were the ones to convert pressure into a score. James Horwill was penalised for contact in the air at the line out and Falcons kicked down field. From the resulting line out a driving maul saw Scott Lawson touch down with a successful conversion from Craig Willis.

Falcons continued to capitalise on the support from the home crowd and after some sloppy play from Harlequins with the ball going loose, Newcastle were awarded a penalty and Willis stepped up once again to make the score 10-0.

After 20 minutes, Harlequins began to bring their big players into the game with Mat Luamanu making two great carries, getting his team over the gain line. However, Newcastle continued to pressurise Quins when they had possession and the visitors never found enough cohesiveness to make a mark on the score board in the early stages of the game.

With three minutes to go until half-time, they eventually dulled the noise of the home crowd. Ward made his ball carrying skills count as he barrelled up field, offloading in contact with the ball eventually finding Walker on the left wing. The winger stormed over the try line from the 22 and despite the cover tackles, dotted down to put Quins on the board. Evans added the conversion.

The second half saw Quins emerge from the changing rooms with a renewed vigour and this was immediately reflected on the score board. In a similar style to Falcons’ first score, a Quins line out in the corner saw a driving maul charge over with Ward the scorer, bringing the score to 10-12.

On 46 minutes, Walker was at his sparkling best to collect an offload from George Lowe at pace, cutting inside to break a tackle and scorch over to score under the posts. Evans added the extras to bring the score to 10-19.

The remaining half an hour saw Falcons claw their way back into the game with the scoreboard eventually changing when Andy Goode struck his first penalty on 60 minutes.

The replacement fly-half then kicked two more penalties in quick succession to bring the score level at 19-19 with 12 minutes to play.

Quins maintained a period of possession building up field but when Owen Evans was penalised for holding on, the momentum switched to put Falcons back in control.

With the home side not settling for the draw, after multiple phases, prop Rob Vickers was driven over in the left hand corner on 78 minutes. Luke Pearce consulted the TMO to ensure the grounding and the try was awarded to the delight of the home crowd.

Goode added the conversion to make the final score 26-19 with Quins going home with a losing bonus point remaining in the top four of the Premiership table.