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London Irish claim back-to-back away league wins after seeing off Newcastle

By PA
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish – Gallagher Premiership – Kingston Park

London Irish made it back-to-back away league wins for the first time in three years as they beat Newcastle Falcons 34-19 in an entertaining Gallagher Premiership clash at Kingston Park.

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The away side were dominant for the first 30 minutes – Josh Basham, Tom Pearson and Danilo Fischetti scoring a trio of tries.

Matthew Dalton and Jamie Blamire scored before the break – the latter following a lengthy TMO review – to limit the first-half damage for the home side, before Carl Fearns levelled the scores within 10 minutes of the restart.

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But Matt Cornish and Ollie Hassell-Collins went over to give the Exiles a bonus point, and Paddy Jackson kicked a late penalty to put the seal on a convincing victory.

The hosts were looking to bounce back from a losing effort against Saracens last time out, where they came from 16 points down at the break to salvage a bonus point.

But the signs did not look good early on, as Basham drove through the defence to touch down inside the first three minutes.

Pearson added a second on 17 minutes after a pick-and-go close to the posts, to establish a commanding early lead.

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The visitors were in complete control – Fischetti found a way through a tight situation in the left corner for their third try on 27 minutes, but Jackson failed to land the conversion for the first time in the game.

And Dalton replied for the hosts with their first big chance of the game three minutes later to reduce the arrears to 19-7.

The Falcons looked revitalised, and Blamire scored following a quick-tap penalty five metres out – Brett Connon as reliable as ever in applying the extras – to make it 19-14 going into the interval.

Fearns levelled the scores nine minutes into the second half after a maul in the left corner, but Connon – like Jackson before him – failed to convert from the left touchline.

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The see-saw battle continued with Cornish driving over, giving Jackson a simple kick to restore the visitors’ seven-point lead.

And Hassell-Collins capped off a flowing move from right to left to extend the lead to 31-19 – Jackson again finding the angle too difficult to convert.

The lead could have been extended when Jackson intercepted a pass to go clean through, but the move broke down on the line when Ben White knocked the ball forward when looking to dot down.

Jackson did convert a penalty two minutes from time to put extra gloss on the scoreline and no further scoring meant the visitors earned their fourth win in a row over the Falcons, who fell to their third consecutive loss and their first home defeat since December 17.

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