The Chronicle

Flood the hero in last-gasp vic­tory

SHARKS FAIL TO SHOW THEIR TEETH AS DRA­MATIC WIN TAKES FAL­CONS TO TOP

- Sports · Rugby · Kingston · Newcastle United Football Club · Sharks · Newcastle Falcons · Sale Sharks · Dean Richards · Sean Robinson

TOBY Flood’s last-gasp try saw New­cas­tle Fal­cons edge to a 15-13 Gal­lagher Pre­mier­ship win over Sale Sharks at Kingston Park.

In a tale of two halves, New­cas­tle were bet­ter in the first as Sale never re­ally trou­bled the try line un­til the fi­nal 10 min­utes - a com­bi­na­tion of stub­born New­cas­tle de­fence and need­less penal­ties pre­vent­ing the vis­i­tors from threat­en­ing.

The Fal­cons led through the boot of Brett Con­non and a try from Sean Robin­son.

How­ever, the Sharks grad­u­ally clawed their way back into the game in the sec­ond pe­riod as AJ MacGinty kicked a cou­ple of penal­ties be­fore Cobus Wiese scored in the corner.

With the Sharks hav­ing to only see out one fi­nal at­tack, they suf­fered heart­break as Flood scored to send Dean Richards’ men top of the table.

Con­non opened the scor­ing as he slot­ted an early penalty to put the Fal­cons into the lead.

Ge­orge McGuigan then came close to scor­ing the first try at Kingston Park in the Pre­mier­ship since May 2019.

He tapped a quick penalty five me­tres out but could not dot down with the ball knocked on as the line beck­oned.

The hosts con­tin­ued to pen the Sharks in their own half and the try they mer­ited ar­rived in the 36th minute when Robin­son bur­rowed over the line af­ter a pe­riod of sus­tained pres­sure to give them a 10-0 half-time ad­van­tage.

Daniel Du Preez had mo­ments ear­lier been sent to the sin-bin af­ter ref­eree Wayne Barnes lost pa­tience with Sale for a se­ries of in­fringe­ments on their line.

A pair of MacGinty penal­ties put the Sharks on the board early in the sec­ond half.

The first pe­riod had been freeflow­ing but the sec­ond half could only be de­scribed as at­tri­tional as both sides con­tested the ball in the mid­dle third of the pitch.

How­ever, the Sharks cru­cially edged in front in the fi­nal nine min­utes as they spread play from left to right and quick hands al­lowed Wiese to dot down in the corner, MacGinty adding the ex­tras from tight to the touch­line.

The home side had the op­por­tu­nity to draw level in the late stages of the game but elected to kick to the corner in­stead of the points and Sale did well to smother the at­tack and win the ball back, deny­ing the Fal­cons.

The penal­ties which rav­aged Sale in the first half had been the down­fall of New­cas­tle in the sec­ond as they gave up pos­ses­sion too cheaply.

How­ever, in a dra­matic fi­nale, Richards’ side turned the game on its head af­ter the clock had ticked over into the red.

Flood was on the end of a pin­point chip to score in the corner and give New­cas­tle a dra­matic vic­tory.

 ??  ?? Greg Peter­son wins a li­ne­out ball for the Fal­cons dur­ing the Gal­lagher Pre­mier­ship Rugby clash with Sale at Kingston Park
Greg Peter­son wins a li­ne­out ball for the Fal­cons dur­ing the Gal­lagher Pre­mier­ship Rugby clash with Sale at Kingston Park
 ??  ?? New­cas­tle’s Tom Penny tack­les Sale’s Luke James
New­cas­tle’s Tom Penny tack­les Sale’s Luke James

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