Wednesday 17 July 2019

Newcastle surge into semi-finals

Newcastle Falcons' Zach Kibirige scores his team's second try against CA Brive. Photo: Getty Images
Newcastle Falcons' Zach Kibirige scores his team's second try against CA Brive. Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle's terrific season continued when they moved into the European Challenge Cup semi-finals - but Brive made them work hard for their 25-10 victory at Kingston Park.

Two second-half tries in the space of 10 minutes from winger Alex Tait - both engineered by Toby Flood - broke Brive's resistance and set up a semi-final against either Connacht at home or Gloucester away.

Newcastle Falcons director of Rugby Dean Richards. Photo: Getty Images
Newcastle Falcons director of Rugby Dean Richards. Photo: Getty Images

There was little in the game until Tait's double, with Newcastle's handling letting them down often.

The hosts led 12-3 in the first half but then gifted Brive a try and nearly handed the French side another through sloppy handling while on attack.

Sam Lockwood's burst and excellent reverse pass sent fellow prop Scott Wilson over, and Flood's conversion made it 7-0 in the 18th minute.

Nicolas Bezy pulled back three points but Newcastle struck again with Zach Kibirige going over in style for 12-3.

Newcastle Falcons' Scott Wilson runs through to score the opening try. Photo: Getty Images
Newcastle Falcons' Scott Wilson runs through to score the opening try. Photo: Getty Images

A mix-up between Sam Stuart and Latu gifted Brive their first try with No 8 Etienne Herjean snapping up the ball and racing 50 metres to score and with Bezy converting, they were just two points down.

Newcastle ramped up the pressure after the break, and went further ahead when Flood broke away and threw out a long pass for Tait to score in the corner in the 58th minute for 17-10.

He then repeated the trick after some big drives by the forwards in the 67th minute, Tait finishing well again to make it 22-10 and end Brive's resistance.

Right on time, Joel Hodgson added a penalty.

Newcastle Falcons' Toby Flood kicks a conversion against CA Brive. Photo: Getty Images
Newcastle Falcons' Toby Flood kicks a conversion against CA Brive. Photo: Getty Images

In last night's other quarter-final, Sean Dougall's Pau held off Stade Francais to win 35-32 in a thriller.

Newcastle Falcons' Chris Harris is tackled by Brive's Retief Marais. Photo: Getty Images
Newcastle Falcons' Chris Harris is tackled by Brive's Retief Marais. Photo: Getty Images

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