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England star strikes as Worcester and Newcastle share postponed spoils

By PA
Ted Hill /Getty Images

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Newcastle and Worcester played out a dogged 24-24 draw on a snowy Saturday night at Kingston Park in the Gallagher Premiership.

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Postponed by a day due to Storm Arwen, the opening stages of the contest featured plenty of kicking, with both sides unwilling to put the ball through hands.

It was Worcester who drew first blood after 15 minutes when fly-half Fin Smith masterfully converted a penalty in the swirling snow.

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After Smith’s penalty, Newcastle began to build some momentum, so much so it forced Worcester hooker Scott Baldwin into cynically stopping quick ball for the hosts, earning him 10 minutes in the sin bin.

And, from the resulting penalty, the Falcons drove over from an attacking line-out through George McGuigan to score the first try of the evening.

Newcastle were beginning to grow in confidence and had their second score of the evening through returning England winger Adam Radwan, who cut a scything line off Pete Lucock’s inside ball to race over, with Joel Hodgson adding the extras.

Predominately camped inside their own half for the majority of the opening 40 minutes, Worcester got themselves deep into Falcons territory right before the break, only for Jamie Shillock to knock on.

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However, the Falcons exit strategy off the resulting scrum saw Mike Brown’s kick charged down by Ashley Beck, who dotted down for Worcester right on half-time, with Smith’s conversion making it 12-10 to Newcastle at the break.

After the interval, a darting break from Warriors scrum-half Gareth Simpson set flanker Kyle Hatherell up for the simplest of scores after 49 minutes, with Smith adding the extras.

Newcastle hit back with a second McGuigan try off the back of a strong rolling maul after 54 minutes, but Hodgson’s touchline conversion sailed inches wide of the sticks, leaving the scores level at 17-17.

Dean Richards’ side almost took the lead with 15 minutes to go through Ben Stevenson, only for the winger to fumble Lucock’s offload to give Worcester a route out of their own half.

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And a minutes later the Falcons botched another opportunity to take the lead when they were held up on the Worcester line after some patient phases.

But the Falcons would not be denied, crossing through substitute prop Kyle Cooper, whose converted score gave Newcastle a 24-17 lead.

However, Worcester hit straight back with a superb score from substitute Billy Searle, with Smith’s conversion levelling proceedings again at 24-24.

Seconds remained in the contest with Newcastle camped deep inside Worcester’s half, but the hosts made a mess of their final attack of the game with a handling error to leave the scores level at full-time.

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