Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

`Wide Boys' Deny Falcons Victory

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

`Wide Boys' Deny Falcons Victory

Article excerpt

Newcastle were denied victory at Welford Road as Leicester awarded two points for what appeared to be a missed conversion.

Jonny Wilkinson came through his first 80 minutes of the season in a scrappy game but the real talking point came early in the second half after a James Hamilton try had put the home side 11-9 in front.

Andy Goode struck the conversion and, although television replays showed the kick had drifted the wrong side of the post, the linesmen nevertheless raised their flags.

After Goode added a penalty to stretch the lead to 16-9, the Falcons levelled with Robbie Morris's late converted try.

Leicester's Julian White and Newcastle's Andy Perry were both sent off for fighting in first-half added time but the Tigers know they must improve when they face Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup next week.

Wilkinson, returning after an appendix operation, did not take long to make his first impression.

His fourth-minute penalty from 45 metres bounced off the post but the Falcons regained possession and he slotted a right-footed drop goal from just inside the 22.

With Martin Corry making his presence felt in the lineout, the Tigers' first real spell of pressure saw the hosts draw level thanks to Goode's well-struck penalty.

Another kick from Goode just in front of the posts took Leicester ahead but Wilkinson pegged them back from a similar distance following a charge up the middle by centre Mark Mayerhofler.

That proved the end of Graham Rowntree's evening as the veteran prop limped off 30 minutes into his 200th league start for the Tigers.

Wilkinson had already almost had a kick charged down by Harry Ellis and required almost five minutes of treatment on his left leg when the Tigers' scrum-half caught him late in the 40th minute, an offence that resulted in Matt Burke moving the Falcons three points ahead. Seven minutes into added time, Goode caught Wilkinson high and late, earning a yellow card. Falcons' Andy Long suffered a similar fate a minute later for illegal play at the breakdown. …

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