Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rugby Union: Try-Fest Rewards Faithful Support

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rugby Union: Try-Fest Rewards Faithful Support

Article excerpt

Byline: ALAN HEDLEY

Petrarca Padova 6

Newcastle Falcons 50

THE Falcons face a tough away quarter-final against French side Clermont Auvergne in the European Challenge Cup after blasting through their last qualifier with this try feast in Italy, topped off by a party with the fans, writes ALAN HEDLEY.

Newcastle scored eight tries to pick up a five-point bonus win and they now face top seeds Clermont in France on the weekend of March 30-April 1.

Clermont are challenging for the French title, but they are beatable and by common consent they had the easiest pool in the Challenge Cup with Worcester, Viadana and French minnows Albi.

They only just beat Worcester 29-23 at home but won 35-22 in England and topped the group with a 100% record to claim top seeding.

The draw for the quarter-finals is: ASM Clermont Auvergne v Newcastle Falcons, Saracens v Glasgow Warriors, Bath v Bristol, Newport Gwent Dragons v Brive.

Two tries from winger Ollie Phillips on his first game back from after his loan spell at Otley and others from Toby Flood, Jamie Noon, Anthony Elliott, Andy Long, Loki Crichton and Jason Oakes all proved crucial after Harlequins failed to get the required try count in their win against Connacht.

Newcastle Director of rugby John Fletcher said: "We thought we were out of the competition after the defeat in Mon-tauban but we have shown real determination in coming back into things.

"The trip to France will be a tough one but we'll put everything into it - every game from now on is a cup final for us in this competition.

"The support from our fans was awesome and it was all the players were talking about in the changing room after the game. It was as if someone had taken the South Stand at Kingston Park and transplanted it to Italy. Even in the warm-up they were singing and shouting, which the boys really appreciate. …

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