Flood kicks Fal­cons to fi rst vic­tory

The Observer - Sport - - Rugby Union Gallagher Premiership - Ob­server sport

Three sec­ond- half penal­ties from Toby Flood proved cru­cial in earn­ing New­cas­tle Fal­cons their fi rst win of the Pre­mier­ship sea­son against Worces­ter. Sonatane Taku­lua and Sinoti Sinoti sent the Fal­cons into an early lead be­fore a penalty try and Dun­can Weir lev­elled the scores at 14- 14 just af­ter half- time. But Flood, the 33- year- old fl y- half who won 60 caps for Eng­land be­tween 2006 and 2014, was on the money with three kicks at goal to give the visi­tors a 23- 20 win at Sixways Sta­dium. a pha­lanx of de­fend­ers for Bath’s sec­ond, be­fore Cokanasiga showed off freak­ish fi nish­ing skills. Af­ter a smart in­ter­ven­tion by Semesa Roko­duguni, he defi ed physics to touch down in the cor­ner be­fore Luke Wal­lace slammed him into touch. O n the stroke of half- time, he all but re­peated the trick, even more out­ra­geously rid­ing the tackle of Aaron Smith, but his el­bow landed in touch a split- sec­ond be­fore he touched down.

No mat­ter; he scored his sec­ond fi ve min­utes af­ter the break for the bonus point. Bath worked the ball im­pres­sively from their own 22, cul­mi­nat­ing in some wiz­ardry from Burns to re­lease Cokanasiga for a 30- 15 lead. Ten min­utes later, Mercer cut in­side to gal­lop home from 30 me­tres for a 37- 18 lead .

Quins left it un­til the last fi ve min­utes to re­spond. Joe Mar­ler crashed over for try num­ber three, be­fore more re­lent­less ham­mer­ing af­forded Char­lie Mulchrone a chink to dart through. That earned Quins two bonus points. They had time for more, but more would have rep­re­sented day­light rob­bery.

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