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'Let's return to reality - Ireland must exercise caution'

Irish expectation soars as Andy Farrell's team sweeps all in its path, but cool heads are needed if they are to heed mistakes of the past

Tale of two halves sees Newcastle storm back to beat Sale

Mateo Carreras crosses to score for the Falcons. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Tries from Mateo Carreras and Sam Stuart allowed Newcastle to complete a remarkable comeback as they saw off high-flying Sale with a 20-14 Gallagher Premiership victory at Kingston Park.


The Falcons looked devoid of ideas in the first half as the Sharks deservedly went into the interval 14-0 up. However, a fantastic second-half performance with Brett Connon kicking 10 points saw Newcastle turn the result on its head.

Sale were rewarded for their positive start after 11 minutes. A lineout was worked down the blindside and Ewan Ashman was able to go in at the corner. Rob Du Preez was on target from the touchline for the conversion.

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Micky Young was sent to the sin-bin after 24 minutes for tackling a player on the floor as Newcastle were penalised once more on halfway.

Du Preez went to the corner with the penalty and the lineout was spread wide for Tom O’Flaherty to go over to extend the lead before Du Preez once more added the extras.

The first half ended with Newcastle almost fashioning an opportunity with a rare foray into the Sale 22 but a penalty for a high tackle by Carreras put an end to the attack and the visitors were able to clear their lines and end the half in a comfortable position.

The Falcons got on the board two minutes into the second half when Connon kicked a penalty inside the 22 to reduce the arrears.


Strong words must have been given in the changing rooms at half-time as it was a different Newcastle side who came out for the second half.

One long period of pressure looked like it would get them back into the game, only for Ben Curry to come in with a crucial jackal turnover near his line.

Carreras provided a spark for the Falcons and the Argentina international managed to burst through two would-be tackles to dot down to give the home side some momentum in the game, on a move where Sale seemed to be well-placed in defence.

The hosts moved ahead after 63 minutes as replacement Stuart was credited with a try after a rolling maul went over and Connon was spot on to add the conversion and give the Falcons a three-point lead.


The Sharks, who had been disciplined in the first half, started to lose their cool as some poor decision making cost them.

Daniel Du Preez was penalised for clearing out beyond the ruck and then dissent saw what would have been a regulation penalty become a formality for Connon, who was successful in front of the posts.

Sale kept battling but one late chance went astray with a loose pass in midfield as the home side ran out deserved winners.


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FEATURE 'Let's return to reality - Ireland must exercise caution' 'Let's return to reality - Ireland must exercise caution'