NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND – Last weekend, the Newcastle Falcons won their first match in the Premiership since October 2013. It was just the latest in a run of shock upsets that have marked the early going in England’s top flight and Rugby Wrap Up has you covered with all the weekend’s talking points.
Joy in Kingston
It had been a long time coming, but the Falcons can finally lay claim to a victory once more. Newcastle were the owners of a 20 match losing run prior to their weekend matchup against Exeter, and few saw them breaking their run of poor form against one of the new term’s most impressive sides. The Chiefs were put in business early when Thomas Waldom crashed over in the fourth minute, but the Falcons fought back and impressed, grabbing a well earned 29-24 triumph. Though the match was marked by errors on both sides of the ball, the overall effect was entertaining, end to end rugby as the teams searched for defensive frailties. In the end, Newcastle scored three tries, through Noah Cato, Sinoti Sinoti, and Tom Catterick. Newcastle entered the season knowing that they would be battling with London Welsh for their place in the Premiership next season, and their victory over Exeter gives them a clear advantage heading into the relegation clash next weekend.
Despair in Leicester
On the other end of the emotional spectrum, Leicester’s woes went from bad to worse as they were demolished by Gloucester. The Cherry and Whites haven’t been the most impressive side this team, but they had plenty of resources to hand the tame Tigers a 33-16 shellacking. Richard Cockerill’s press conferences grow more defensive by the week. Greig Laidlaw starred for his new team, slotting home seven kicks, with four penalties in the mix. The final scoreline flattered the Tigers, thanks to a David Mele injury time try. Though Leicester have made a habit of starting the season poorly for the past four seasons, this marks a new low, with three successive losses in the Premiership for the first time since October 2011. The Tigers need to find a fix, and soon, or they risk falling into an insurmountable hole.
Bath Impress At Home
Bath continued their strong start to the campaign with a sterling 21-11 victory over Saracens at the Rec. Centers Jonathan Joseph and Kyle Eastmond scored for Bath, while American Chris Wyles countered for Sarries. George Ford’ s normally impeccable boot was in poor form, missing five of nine kicks at goal. Bath’s victory marked the end of Saracens’ unbeaten start to the season, and they have continued to develop their young talent after an unexpectedly strong showing last season. Sam Burgess’ entry into the side will be delayed after his injury in Australia, but he will be another formidable weapon for the West Country outfit to call upon in the closing days of the season. As the table stands, Bath are only one point behind leaders Northampton, who sit at twenty points from five matches.
Best of the Rest
It is impossible to convey just how poorly London Welsh have looked in their return to the top flight, but once more, the scoreline will speak for them. Harlequins dispatched the newcomers, 52-0, in humiliating fashion. The rout was just what the doctor ordered for Conor O’Shea’s team, who will head into their Friday clash against Leicester flush with confidence. London Irish continued to put up a spirited start to the year, going down to defending champions Northampton 19-12. Luther Burrell scored the only try of the match for the Saints, while Shane Geraghty responded with four penalties for the Exiles. Rounding things out this weekend, Sale fought of Wasps, 29-14, despite a try from Christian Wade.
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