Newcastle Falcons 13 - 19 Leicester Tigers: Visitors Survive Late Penalty Surge to Clinch Victory - Ruck

Newcastle Falcons 13 – 19 Leicester Tigers: Visitors Survive Late Penalty Surge to Clinch Victory

By Rob Rush

Leicester Tigers secured victory at Newcastle Falcons on Friday night at Kingston Park, as three tries was enough to overcome three yellow cards in stoppage time, during a dramatic finale in the north east.

An early penalty for offside allowed Brett Connon a shot at the sticks and the fly half duly converted to open the scoring inside three minutes.

However, it was the visitors who got the first try of the evening. Newcastle slow to wrap round the corner and the returning Jack van Poortvliet sniping through the middle before dotting down under the sticks.

Some spirited Falcons defence snuffed out multiple waves of Leicester attacks before Ben Radshaw hacked through for a 50/22 to set them up with good field position. However, they lost the ensuing lineout and the moment passed.

They weren’t to be denied for much longer, a lovely first phase move from a lineout and delayed pass from Cam Hutchison sent Radshaw through a gaping hole in the line to score and put the hosts back in front.

A scrum penalty allowed Falcons to kick to within five metres, but another lost lineout scuppered the chance, something likely to be brought up by Steve Diamond in training next week.

An ill-advised pick and go from Philip van de Walt allowed Tigers to snaffle a penalty, and captain Julián Montoya rumbled over from the following maul to hand the lead back to Tigers with just over five minutes until the break. 

A fairly sedate start to the second half was brought to an end with two bursting carries from Jasper Wiese to bring Leicester valuable field position. Newcastle’s covering defence did well to sweep round and bundle Freddie Steward into touch to relieve the pressure.

The first fifteen minutes of the second period were littered with errors from both sides in all facets of the game, no foothold able to be found. A Leicester offside from a lineout on the 10 metre line allowed Connon to kick for the lead, but his kick sailed wide right.  

From the following restart, some deft footballing ability from Radshaw almost saw him score his second try, but a scrambling effort in defence saw it be a five metre scrum to the hosts. Multiple transgressions led to another kick for the posts, and Connon made no mistake from in front to give Newcastle the lead with 15 minutes to play.

Leicester provided an immediate response, a nice move from one side to the other giving Jamie Shillcock space to run though, and he provided the offload for Ollie Hassell-Collins to score in the corner and turn the tide once more.

The visitors started to lose discipline as the clock ticked down, racking up numerous penalties but no yellow card. A scrum penalty to Tigers against the flow of play angered the home side and supporters as Leicester looked to escape.

A last minute penalty and eventually the yellow card was branded for Charlie Clare, presenting Falcons a last ditch opportunity to steal victory. A second yellow card was shown to Freddie Steward for a deliberate knock on as the hosts marched down the field and set up camp in the 22.

More scrum penalties saw a third yellow card brought out for James Whitcombe as referee Karl Dickson lost patience. Falcons kept banging on the door, but after 25+ minutes of scrummaging and numerous penalty advantages, a holding on penalty brought relief to Leicester’s faces as they clung on for victory.

Newcastle Falcons

TRIES: (Radshaw 17’)

CONVERSIONS: (Connon 18’)

PENALTIES:  (Connon 2’, 64’)




15. Elliott Obatoyinbo 14. Adam Radwan 13. Tom Penny 12. Cameron Hutchison 11. Ben Radshaw 10. Brett Connon 9. Sam Stuart 1. Phil Brantingham 2. Jamie Blamire 3. Richard Palframan 4. Tim Cardall 5. Sebastian De Chaves 6. Philip van der Walt 7. Sam Cross  8. Callum Chick ©

Replacements: 16. Bryan Byrne 17 Murray McCallum. 18. Eduardo Bello 19. John Hawkins  20. John Kelly  21. Ben Douglas 22. Rory Jennings  23. Oliver Spencer

Leicester Tigers

TRIES: 3 (van Poortvliet 4’, Montoya 32’, Hassell-Collins 65’)

CONVERSIONS: (Pollard 5’,66’)



YELLOW CARDS: 3 (Clare 80’, Steward 84’, Whitcombe 89’)


15. Freddie Steward 14. Josh Bassett 13. Matt Scott 12. Solomone Kata 11. Ollie Hassell-Collins 10. Handrè Pollard 9. Jack van Poortvliet 1. James Cronin 2. Julián Montoya © 3. Will Hurd 4. Harry Wells 5. Kyle Hatherell 6. Hanro Liebenberg 7. Olly Cracknell 8. Jasper Wiese

Replacements: 16. Charlie Clare 17. James Whitcombe 18. Dan Richardson 19. Finn Carduff 20. Emeka Ilione 21. Tom Whiteley 22. Jamie Shillcock 23. Phil Cokanasiga