Bottom of the Premiership with only one win this season, the Falcons were expected to be in for a tough Sunday afternoon in the Pool 5 encounter at Stade Mayol.
Dean Richards’ side rose to the occasion in the club’s first match in Europe’s premier club competition in 14 seasons, recovering from a nightmare start in the wind on the French Riviera.
Three-time European champions Toulon came into the game having lost three of their last four games, but Romain Taofifenua charged down a kick to score the opening try after only 21 minutes.
The Falcons rallied to lead 16-15 at half-time, Kyle Cooper going under the posts from a pick-and-go and Joel Hodgson scoring 11 points from the tee before Raphael Lakafia went over at the other end.
A penalty try increased Newcastle’s lead and Hodgson won it with a penalty 10 minutes from time after a converted Guilhem Guirado try and Francois Trinh-Duc’s penalty had edged Toulon in front.
An impressive start, who was the shining light? ?
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) October 14, 2018
Saracens maintained their 100 per cent record this season by grinding out a 13-3 Pool 3 victory at Scotstoun.
Gareth Anscombe scored a magnificent solo try and booted 15 points to ensure Cardiff Blues started their European campaign with an impressive 30-21 Pool 3 win at Lyon.
It proved to be a miserable day for Top 14 sides, Gloucester beating champions Castres 19-14 to go to the summit of Pool 2.
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