Flying Falcons see off Irish comeback
NEWCASTLE Falcons’ incredible start to the season continued with a 29-17 victory over London Irish at Kingston Park.
Dean Richards’ side are top again having already recorded four victories – only one fewer than they managed in the entire 2015-16 season, when they narrowly avoided the drop at the expense of the Exiles.
Irish managed to bounce straight back up from the Championship but look set for a long, hard battle this season, with director of rugby Nick Kennedy already having called for the Premiership to scrap relegation altogether.
Last night they got the first points on the scoreboard – a penalty from full-back Tommy Bell after four minutes – but were then blown away by the hosts who, with two tries from Vereniki Goneva and one from Juan Pablo Socino, took a 24-3 lead by half-time.
However, Kennedy would have been delighted with the second-half fightback from his players who, despite conceding another try when Will Welch finished off a lineout drive to add a bonus point, scored two in quick succession to make it a nervy finale for Newcastle. Back row Conor Gilsenan finished off a fine move under the posts before Tom Fowlie touched down three minutes later. Both scores were converted by Bell to bring Irish within 12 points and they could have taken their own bonus point had Saia Fainga’a not had a try ruled out by the TMO for a forward pass.
James O’Connor scored on his Sale debut and Byron McGuigan grabbed a hat-trick as the Sharks thrashed Gloucester 57-10 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Saracens had few difficulties winning 25-3 at Worcester thanks to tries from Chris Wyles and Alex Goode.
GONEVA:Two first-half tries