Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Lose Again despite a Late Revival

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Lose Again despite a Late Revival

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Hedley

Newcastle rescued two bonus points with a magnificent late fightback at Saracens as they went down to their fourth Premiership defeat in a row.

Once again the Falcons gave away a big start to the opposition and then had two players - Garath Archer and Epi Taione sin-binned - and at 32-8 down were dead and buried.

But the Falcons mounted a massive late surge to score tries through Warren Britz, Phil Dowson and an injury time 90-metre interception try from David Walder, who'd been on the receiving end of the same treatment in the first half.

"I'll end up in an early grave because of this lot," was manager Rob Andrew's wry comment afterwards.

"But to snatch two points from that was incredible. We were 32-8 down and that was not a reflection of the way we played. Okay, we were slow out of the blocks defensively but should have gone in at half time 12-8 down and gave away an injury time try.

"Then all of a sudden we're 32-8 down and we somehow manage to conjure up three tries and get two bonus points." Newcastle got the worst possible start thanks to a typical flash of Thomas Caistaignede magic.

Walder tried a drop goal only for the ball to be defected and the Frenchman ran it from behind his own line, then kicked ahead for Richard Haughton to chase it down and score in the first minute.

The Falcons responded with a series of attacks, but it was Hugh Vyvyan's shuddering tackle on Ben Johnston which shook the ball loose and Joe Shaw snapped it up dive over in the corner and level the scores.

Castaignede, who had shown such panache earlier, revealed the dark side of his nature when he slid in feet-first on Shaw as he scored.

Both referee Wayne Barnes and the touch judge were right there but did nothing when it should have been at least a sin-binning for the Frenchman. …

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