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Last-gasp Falcons beat Saints, Sale see off Worcester

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards

Newcastle Falcons ended a four-match Premiership losing streak with a dramatic 24-22 victory at Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks edged out struggling Worcester Warriors on Friday.


Northampton had also lost four in a row in the top flight before Newcastle made the journey south to Franklin’s Gardens, but looked set to stop the rot until a dramatic finale.

The Saints were clinging on at the death and were unable to stop Nili Latu from crashing over for a try which Sonatane Takulua converted to snatch victory.

Northampton led 22-17 with 10 minutes remaining following tries from England captain Dylan Hartley and Harry Mallinder as well as a penalty try.

Latu and Takulua came to Newcastle’s rescue, though, after Sinoti Sinoti and Josh Matavesi had gone over in the first half of a tense encounter which saw Rob Horne have a try ruled out only 13 seconds in when Ben Foden was deemed to have knocked on.

Sale claimed their first away win since October 2016, beating Worcester 18-14 despite Byron McGuigan’s red card 15 minutes from time.

McGuigan was given his marching orders for a second yellow card offence, but Mark Jennings crashed over five minutes later.


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Jon 9 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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