Newcastle down Sale to secure first Premiership win

Newcastle Falcons secured their first victory since returning to the Aviva Premiership when they beat Sale Sharks 14-15 in Salford.

Rory Clegg kicked a late penalty for Newcastle to seal the victory in which Sale scored the only try of the match by Dwayne Peel.

Sale Sharks beat Gloucester 22-16 last weekend but this result means they have have not won their opening two games in a season for five years as they last did it in 2008/09.

Last week’s win at Gloucester had given Sale hope that they could put to rest
the horrendous start they suffered last season, while the Falcons were on the
hunt for a first scalp of the season after their heavy home defeat to Bath.

Falcons coach Dean Richards had admitted beforehand that Sale would present
a serious challenge to his newly-promoted side, and so it proved, as the home
side made all the early running.

Nick Macleod missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Sale in the
third minute, kicking a penalty against the upright, but he made amends minutes
later, slotting home for the first points of the game.

Phil Godman levelled proceedings on 19 minutes with a penalty from the right,
although Macleod regained the lead after 25 minutes with his second penalty
of the night.

The Sharks pack powered Dan Braid over for the first try of the night after
Dom Barrow had been yellow carded.

Godman reduced the gap by six points before the break, first of all as the
Falcons’ seven man scrum forced the Sharks into giving away the penalty virtually
in front of their posts, before he slotted a well-taken kick from the left wing
after his pack had again showed their prowess.

Further Newcastle pressure led to Godman kicking his side into a one point
lead on 48 minutes, but Sale were immediately on the offensive, with a breakaway
leading to another missed penalty attempt from Macleod.

The Sharks’ fly-half made amends for that earlier miss with a penalty goal
on the hour mark, but Rory Clegg, having replaced Godman, kicked the Falcons
back into a single-point lead ten minutes later, with a penalty from the Sale
ten-metre line.

Sale threw everything at Newcastle in the final period, but the Falcons defence
stood firm to hold on for their first win after winning promotion. Sale meanwhile,
were left wondering whether last weekend’s win at Gloucester was a flash in
the pan.

Final Score Sale Sharks 14 (11) Newcastle Falcons 15 (9)


Sale Sharks
Tries – Peel
Pen – MacLeod (2)
Con –
Drop –

Newcastle Falcons
Tries –
Pen – Godman (4), Clegg
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: Luke Pearce (16th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Andy Watson and Stuart Terheege
TMO: Sean Davey.


Sale Sharks

Tom Arscott, Phil Mackenzie, Mark Cueto, Andy Forsyth, Tom Brady, Nick Macleod, Dwayne Peel. Eifion Lewis Roberts, Marc Jones, Henry Thomas, Johnathan Mills, Michael Paterson, Dan Braid Captain, David Seymour, James Gaskell

Replacements Tommy Taylor, Ross Harrison, Vadim Cobilas, Kirill Kulemin, Josh Beaumont, Will Cliff, Joe Ford, Rob Miller.

Newcastle Falcons

15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Tom Catterick, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 1 Franck Montanella, 2 Matt Thompson, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Dom Barrow, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Ally Hogg

Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 Kieran Brookes, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Carlo del Fava, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 James Fitzpatrick

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