Newcastle’s magnificent 22-17 comeback victory over Sale in front of nearly 30,000 fans at St James’ Park was overshadowed by an alleged biting incident.
Sale hooker Rob Webber claimed he was bitten on the arm by a Falcons player after a first-half melee involving several players from both sides, sparked by a clash between Webber and Falcons lock Calum Green.
Director of rugby Steve Diamond said: “I think the citing officer will have to have a look at it and he’ll decide what happens. Rob Webber got a bite mark that needed treatment at half-time and after the game.
“We couldn’t see anything from where we were but there is clear evidence of a bite mark. I don’t know who was responsible.
“Rob has clearly gone to the referee and showed him the bite and it’s bleeding and the referee said there’s no clear evidence, but what more evidence do you need?
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“I must be on a different planet to those three officials – it’s madness – but we’ll see.
“We can’t detract that from the result. Newcastle deserved to win and the disciplinarians will take their view on it and we move on.
“I don’t know who it was. I couldn’t see the incident – I was 60 yards away but the referee was two yards away and he said he couldn’t see it.
— Sale Sharks? (@SaleSharksRugby) March 23, 2019
“We took some poor options in the first half and fair play to Newcastle, they battled hard and went in just 10-6 down and we couldn’t match their enthusiasm in the second half which was very disappointing.”
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards indicated the Falcons will co-operate with any disciplinary procedure and investigation.
“We are aware of the bite allegations and we’ll be having a look at that,” he said.
“An allegation has been made and I’ll look very closely at it and if there is anything in it I’ll expect a citing and then we’ll deal with it in due course.
“But we’ll also look very closely ourselves when we get all the angles on it and the recordings. We’ll look at it and see if anything needs to be done in due course.”
Newcastle were off the pace at half-time but hit Sale with a converted Toby Flood try and three more penalties from Sonatane Takulua, who knocked over 17 points.
“I didn’t say much to them at half-time,” said Richards. “They sit down and talk it through themselves and they tidied it up and delivered.
“We probably made them look good in the first 20 minutes and we didn’t get our exits and strategies right, but they are a good side.
“We enjoy playing here and the atmosphere was fantastic and the supporters today were unbelievable.
“Momentum is everything so I think we’re doing all right. We set a target of five wins and we’re three into that, so we’re doing all right and if we get another two we should be somewhere near being safe – but then with Worcester winning today (27-25 at Bristol) even that’s not sure.
“I’ve said it all along this year, whoever goes down it will be a really good team that is going down because there are 12 really good teams out there. I just hope it’s not us that do go down.”
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