THREE tries from Ally Hogg helped an obstinate Newcastle Falcons see off London Scottish in an 11-try thriller.
London Scottish: Tries: R Bolt, penalty try, M Bright, T Hotson. Cons: J Love 2. Pens: J Love 3.
Newcastle: Tries: S Tomes, A Hogg 3, L Fielden, A Crockett, J Hall. Cons: J Gopperth 7.
“I wouldn’t say things went according to plan as they scored four tries,” said Newcastle head coach Dean Richards. “I’m not happy, but the players aren’t, either. We’ll have a look at how we are playing, as we come down from a Premiership standard and we get penalised.”
Having won the opening game of the season, Scottish opened with some forceful running, but little distance gained. Despite stringing phases together, Newcastle’s Premiership standard defence was brusque and Scottish were continually forced back.
At the lineout the Newcastle pack leant on Scottish and minutes into the game burly second row Sean Tomes was shoved over the line, Jimmy Gopperth making the resulting conversion look easy.
Newcastle could have been accused of being one-trick ponies after this, as every penalty was turned into a Gopperth touch finder. The ball was caught, numbers were taken and drives were initiated. Scottish could not cope and succumbed once more, this time to Hogg.
No matter the pace Scottish chose, years of Aviva Premiership experience meant that Newcastle could handle it. Turnovers were coming in. Quick passes away from cover meant Newcastle could make more yards and when Hogg popped up on the wing, 15 minutes in, his second try was assured.
Scottish did learn, though, and as soon as they won a lineout in the opposition 22 a pass away from the drive allowed Richard Bolt to burst through for the simplest of scores.
The visitors did not panic, Gopperth waiting for the right moment. Late in the half he collected a loose kick and set off down the left flank. His team-mates showed the same level of guile, and as the back row exchanged passes, a three-man overlap was created. Luke Fielden cantered over and Gopperth converted.
When Alex Crocket gleefully profited from a lazy PJ Gidlow pass, Newcastle had five tries and Scottish had shellshock.
The second half continued in the same manner as prop James Hall pounced on poor Scottish passing to score a converted try.
Scottish had to chase the game after this. Gone were the smart runs as they attempted to outmuscle Newcastle, Rob Vickers yellow carded for collapsing a maul and the home side capitalising from the following scrum, taking a penalty try.
Defences lashed out and Hogg was shunted over for his hat-trick, but Scottish fought to claim something back, two fast-paced tries from Mark Bright and Tyler Hotson ensuring that they snatched a try bonus.
London Scottish: J Thompson; J Love, D McCall, PJ Gidlow, M Mantella; O Grove, R Bolt; A Clark, A Kwasnicki, A Liffchak, S Twomey, T Hotson, J Trayfoot, M Bright (c), C Pennycook.. Subs: M Strachan, J Brown, B Lonergan, R Samson, D Mugford, D Howells.
Newcastle: L Fielden; A Higgins, A Crockett, T Tu’ipulotu, R Shortland; J Gopperth, C Pilgrim; G Shiells, R Vickers, J Hall, S Tomes, J Hudson, A Hogg, W Welch (c), R Mayhew. Subs: M Thompson, O Tomaszczyk, S MacLeod, J Pasqualin, J Fitzpatrick, W Luveniyali.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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