Falcons 30 Bristol Bears 15

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A last-minute length-of-the-field try from Mateo Carreras handed the home side a dramatic bonus point into the bargain, with the hosts celebrating their first victory of the season in some style Newcastle enjoyed a 17-3 half-time lead after an entertaining opening 40 although the opening exchanges were played out predominantly on the middle third, with neither side able to find the required early fluency. Bristol made the first meaningful line-break on 13 minutes when fly-half AJ MacGinty got to within a whisker of scoring a try, with the scrambling defence straying offside and enabling the USA international to chip over a simple penalty. Newcastle battled back and had the lead on 17 minutes, a line-break and impressive leg-drive from Matias Orlando helping win a penalty from which the hosts took a five-metre scrum. It was a bold move which paid dividends - fly-half Tian Schoeman flinging out a long, looping pass to Mateo Carreras, who dived in at the left corner for a try. It got even better just after the quarter mark when a booming penalty from Schoeman earned his side a line-out five metres out in the left corner, where a textbook rolling maul saw Connor Collett breaking away for an unconverted try. Try number three arrived on 32 minutes from another penalty kicked to the left corner, Newcastle working forward runs through Callum Chick and Trevor Davison before George McGuigan poached his fifth of the season from a close-range catch and drive. Schoeman added the conversion to give his side a 17-3 half-time lead, but the tide turned at the start of the second half when the Falcons had Connor Collett and Sean Robinson sent to the sin bin for offside defending their own try-line. Having held out for a couple of minutes the dam finally broke, with a five-metre scrum in front of the posts seeing the ball whipped out to the left corner, where Henry Purdy crossed for an unconverted try. It was a similar story four minutes later when a snipe from replacement Harry Randall handed the Bears front-foot ball 10 metres out, and when play was worked quickly through the hands it was full-back Rich Lane who crossed for a converted try in the right corner. That reduced the Falcons’ lead to just two points going into the closing quarter, but a penalty from 45 metres out saw Schoeman bisect the South Stand uprights to add a further three to that margin. Schoeman added a second penalty three minutes from time to put his side two scores ahead, a margin which proved sufficient to claim a memorable home victory. Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Penny, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matias Orlando, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Sam Stuart; 1 Adam Brocklebank (Logovi’i Mulipola, 62), 2 George McGuigan, 3 Trevor Davison (Richard Palframan, 72), 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Will Welch (captain), 7 Connor Collett (Jamie Blamire, 58), 8 Callum Chick. Scorers - Tries: Mateo Carreras 2, Connor Collett, George McGuigan. Conversions: Tian Schoeman 2. Penalties: Tian Schoeman 2. Bristol Bears: 15 Rich Lane, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Jack Bates (Sam Bedlow, 40), 12 Piers O'Conor, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 AJ MacGinty (Callum Sheedy, 64), 9 Andy Uren (Harry Randall, 54); 1 Jake Woolmore, 2 Will Capon (Harry Thacker, 51), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Max Lahiff, 56), 4 Ed Holmes, 5 Joe Joyce, 6 Chris Vui, 7 Jake Heenan (captain), 8 Magnus Bradbury. Scorers - Tries: Henry Purdy, Rich Lane. Conversions: AJ MacGinty. Penalties: AJ MacGinty. Referee: Luke Pearce. Attendance: 4,215.

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