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A dogged display from Newcastle Falcons saw them battle their way to a 13-5 win over Bristol Bears in the Gallagher Premiership.


In front of a bumper 6,746 Kingston Park crowd, the Falcons were looking for their third win of the new season following victories against Bath and Wasps.

Bristol headed into the contest a shadow of the side that topped the Premiership last season, having lost three of their opening four matches.

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The first half saw both sides butcher opportunities through their own inaccuracy.

A few dangerous touches from Bristol backs Ioan Lloyd and Antoine Frisch saw them ask questions of the Falcons defence early on but their first real chance of the half came through a Callum Sheedy penalty touch finder.

However, from the resulting lineout, a misfire in midfield saw Falcons full-back Mike Brown, making his Kingston Park debut, scoop up the ball and counter, with his kick through just a bit too strong for the onrushing Adam Radwan who was bundled into touch.

With 23 minutes gone, Newcastle were handed another opportunity inside Bath’s 22 but a scrag tackle on scrum-half Louis Schreuder halted their attack as the Bears won another turnover just shy of their line.


But after wasting a number of chances, the Falcons managed to crash over for the first score of the game through flanker Callum Chick, with Brett Connon adding the extras on the stroke of half-time to give Newcastle a 7-0 lead.

After the break, both sides traded blows in the midfield before a superb Brown tackle halted Lloyd and Alapati Leiua from combining down the wing for Bristol, with the latter being forced into touch.

A dangerous break from Sheedy after 52 minutes saw Connon cynically knock the ball on, with referee Christophe Ridley having no option but to send the Falcons fly-half to the bin for 10 minutes.

And minutes after the yellow, Bristol touched down for a score of their own as scrum-half Harry Randall’s quick tap penalty saw him race from his own half to put Leiua in down the left wing, with Lloyd unable to add the extras.


Despite being down to 14, the Falcons thought they had their second try through on-loan centre Max Wright after Schreuder capitalised on a loose ball at the base of the scrum only for Ridley to call it back for a reset.

Bristol missed a chance to take the lead through a missed Lloyd penalty which was then punished by Connon who slotted one of his own minutes later to give Newcastle a 10-5 advantage.

And another Connon penalty late on put Newcastle out of sight, handing them a dogged 13-5 win over last season’s Premiership table toppers.


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