Sunday 18 August 2019

European Watch: Bonus-point boost for Falcons

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Stock picture

John Fallon

Newcastle Falcons, bottom of the Premiership with four straight losses, gave themselves a decent chance of making progress in the Challenge Cup when they came away from Brive with a losing bonus point.

Brive, having won all four home games in the Top 14, were expected to canter home but were made battle all the way before securing a 13-9 victory.

Indeed, Brive were held scoreless in the second-half and forced to defend stoutly by a Newcastle side who produced their best display of the season.

The outcome leaves Brive needing to get something from their visit to Galway tomorrow after failing to pick up a bonus point against a Newcastle side which had been leaking an average 32 points in their league games so far.

Fijian winger Malakai Radikedike got the only try of the game to give the French side early dominance and they led 13-3 at the break.

Tim Catterick got Newcastle's only score with a penalty but they stepped up a few gears after the restart.

Good pressure resulted in an opportunity for Catterick to reduce the margin with another penalty after 45 minutes and then he got another nine minutes later to give the Falcons the chance of a shock win.

That might have been achieved had lock Sean Robinson not been denied in the corner as they piled on the pressure.

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