Sunday 17 December 2017

Falcons floored by poor start

European Watch

Billy Twelvetrees
Billy Twelvetrees

John Fallon

A disastrous opening half proved costly for Newcastle Falcons as they went down at home on the opening weekend of the Premiership.

The Falcons trailed 27-3 at the interval against a rampant Gloucester side and while they rallied after the break, the home support in the crowd of 5,049 at Kingston Park never looked like seeing their side win their opening game for the first time since 2007.

David Humphreys' Gloucester blew them away in the opening half.

The Falcons rallied in the second-half with full-back Simon Hammersley, centre Chris Harris and replacement hooker George McGuigan getting over for tries.

Former All Black Mike Delany, making his Premiership debut after his summer move from Clermont Auvergne, converted all three and had a penalty in either half but it was not enough to prevent a 39-27 loss.

Discarded Billy Twelvetrees kicked nine penalties in a 29-point haul for the visitors.

This weekend, they travel to Northampton, who were shocked at promoted Worcester Warriors on the opening weekend.

Brive maintained their winning run at home as they chalked up a third win in the Top 14 to move to fifth, seeing off European champions Toulon 29-26.

They trailed 12-9 at the break but full-back Gaetan Germain saw them home with a haul of 19 points, including converting the tries from hooker Guillaume Ribes and scrum-half Teddy Iribaren.

Irish Independent

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