A ruthless performance from start to finish saw newly-promoted Newcastle make it three league wins from three with a dominant 27-17 victory over Wasps at the Ricoh Arena. Wasps were forced into two very early changes, with Levi Douglas and James Gaskell both forced off under HIA protocol after a clash of heads, and the visitors took immediate advantage.
They piled on the pressure and opened the scoring within three minutes, Toby Flood slotting over a penalty from right in front of the posts, just inside the 22. Newcastle stayed the dominant side for the majority of the early stages but struggled to turn territory into points, with costly penalties stopping any momentum and keeping the hosts in the game.
The Falcons took advantage eventually though, having gathered an overthrown line-out from inside the Wasps 22, the ball was eventually worked along the line and through the backs for Adam Radwan to touch down in the opposite corner. Flood added the extras to extend the lead to 10.
Wasps responded brilliantly as Sam Wolstenholme’s cross-kick to the right flank found Paolo Odogwu and, after a quick one-two between him and Zach Kibirige, he sprinted past his opposite number to get the home side on the board and cut the lead to five.
With the first half winding down, Newcastle extended their lead in a more physical manner, Marco Fuser crossing the whitewash from a yard out after a short spell on the Wasps line, Flood again adding the extras.
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) December 5, 2020
The visitors continued their dominance and extended their lead within five minutes of the restart, Ben Stevenson telegraphing Lima Sopoaga’s pass to perfection and sprinting 60 metres before touching down at the other end. Flood’s conversion pushed the lead to 19 points and the game looked out of sight already for the hosts.
Not that Wasps did not have their opportunities, and they were presented with a golden chance straight away. Having worked the ball well to the right flank, it was played inside to captain Thomas Young five yards out, but he dropped the ball with the goal line at his mercy. The final pass was a bit high, but the flanker will know that he could have done better with it.
Flood’s penalty pushed the margin beyond three scores, but with 15 minutes to go the home side were provided with a little bit of hope. Having been knocking on the door for a few minutes, Tom West finally barged over from close range. They got another try after the clock had hit 80 minutes as Douglas scored from close range, but it was little more than a consolation effort.
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Injuries to two of Bath's internationals will be a major worry for the club. https://t.co/QjWXABLX0H
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 5, 2020
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