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Falcons 31 Harlequins 40



Nathan Earle scoring the Falcons’ third try

Saturday 10 September 2022

Newcastle Falcons had to make do with a bonus point as they opened the Gallagher Premiership with a narrow but pulsating home defeat to Harlequins.

Leading 17-14 at half-time, late tries from Alex Dombrandt and Joe Marchant proved the difference on a day when both clubs paid pre-match respects to Her Majesty The Queen.

Harlequins had the first scoring opportunities of the game with a pair of penalties ten metres out in front of the posts, but their decision to call for the scrum on both occasions saw them leaving empty-handed.

The Falcons made the most of their opening chance when George McGuigan was driven over for a try from a maul in the right corner, the home side having kicked a penalty to touch.

TMO Claire Hodnett denied the Londoners a try after ruling a knock-on in front of the posts, but there was no such reprieve two minutes later when quick footwork from Tyrone Green saw the South African full-back scoring near the posts.

Tommy Allan’s conversion put his side two points in front, and they added another seven to the buffer before the half-hour when prop Wilco Louw ploughed over from close range for a second converted try.

The Falcons levelled the try-count, if not the score-line, on 32 minutes when Adam Radwan scorched a path down the right-hand tramlines from turnover ball, the winger showing incredible pace to score from inside his own half.

Connon’s touchline conversion bounced back off the post to leave his side down by four, but Newcastle’s scrum was as good as a try just before half-time when Harlequins opted for a set-piece from a penalty ten metres out, only to be shoved off their own put-in.

That momentum continued right up until the break, with a Nathan Earle try giving the Falcons a 17-14 half-time lead.

The former Harlequins winger sped 80 metres on the intercept for a try down the left-hand side, having shown great skill to pick the ball off his bootlaces, Connon adding the extras with the final kick of the half.

It was the visitors who drew first blood after the interval, kicking a penalty to the right corner from which hooker George Head was driven over for a converted try.

Centre Lennox Anwanyu extended their lead to 11 points when he was quickest to a loose ball down the right to register their bonus point try, with Allan once again converting.

The Falcons chalked up a four-try bonus point of their own on the hour mark when McGuigan scored from a maul in the right corner.

Connon slotted the touchline conversion to cut the deficit to four, and he did so again on 66 minuts to hand his team the lead when Logovi’i Mulipola barrelled over the try-line from a close-range carry down the left.

Quins struck the killer blow, however, with four minutes to go when No 8 Alex Dombrandt wriggled out of a tackle to score down the left, Joe Marchant denying them a second bonus point with the very last play.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Pete Lucock (George Wacokecoke, 75), 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Brett Connon (Tian Schoeman, 75), 9 Josh Barton (Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 55); 1 Phil Brantingham (Logovi’i Mulipola, 55), 2 George McGuigan (Charlie Maddison, 75), 3 Trevor Davison (Mark Tampin, 65), 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves (George Merrick, 65), 6 Sean Robinson (Tom Marshall, 75), 7 Jamie Blamire, 8 Will Welch (captain).

Scorers – Tries: George McGuigan 2, Adam Radwan, Nathan Earle, Logovi’i Mulipola. Conversions: Brett Connon 3.

Harlequins: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Nick David, 13 Luke Northmore (Joe Marchant, 40), 12 Lennox Anyanwu, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Lewis Gjaltema; 1 Joe Marler (Joe Marler, 52), 2 George Head (Jack Musk, 52), 3 Wilco Louw (Will Collier, 52), 4 George Hammond, 5 Irne Herbst (Dino Lamb, 68), 6 Jack Kenningham (Will Evans, 30), 7 Tom Lawday, 8 Alex Dombrandt (captain).

Scorers – Tries: Tyrone Green, Wilco Louw, George Head, Lennox Anyanwu, Alex Dombrandt, Joe Marchant. Conversions: Tommy Allan 5.

Referee: Luke Pearce. Attendance: 5,025.

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby


Baxter issues Moon injury update



Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens

Rob Baxter says he cannot give a timescale as to when prop Ben Moon will return to the Exeter Chiefs match-day squad.

The 33-year-old forward is currently Exeter’s longest-serving player, having made his debut in 2008 away to Sedgley Park, and is the last remaining member of their 2009-10 promotion squad.

The England international, however, has not featured for the Devon club since coming off the bench against Munster in last April’s Heineken Champions Cup clash at Sandy Park.

Asked by the media this week about Moon, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby said: “I wouldn’t hold out hope that he’s going to be appearing soon. It’s been a challenge for Ben for a little period of time now, it’s not just been this season.

“He’s had periods in and out with it, it’s something that’s been affecting him for a little while and because of what it is we just have to be very careful with it.”

Moon has featured in all six of Exeter’s Premiership final appearances at Twickenham – and he also played in the 2020 European Champions Cup final win over Racing 92, and Exeter’s first major final when they beat Northampton Saints to win the 2014 LV Cup.

Moon won eight England caps in the 2018-19 season, but did not make the squad for that autumn’s World Cup in Japan.

“He’s still active around the club, he’s still here, he’s in training, he’s continuing very hard with his rehab and getting everything else he can right, but we’ve just got to be really careful around that neck.

“It’s probably one of those things where it’s getting to the stage where there’s not a lot more we can do. I can’t talk for Ben about his future, but you’re not going to see him in the immediate future on the pitch.”

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby

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TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby



South African talisman Rob du Preez is set to make his 100th Sharks appearance whilst Alex Groves is in line for his Gallagher Premiership debut as Alex Sanderson names his side to face Bath Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow night. (Kick-off 7:45pm – Live on BT Sport) 

Sanderson makes seven changes to the Sale starting line-up as his squad returns to Gallagher Premiership action following defeat at the hands of Ulster in the Champions Cup. 

In the forwards, there is a complete change of the Sharks front-row as Simon McIntyre, Tommy Taylor and Nick Schonert all return to face Bath.  

Cobus Wiese links back up with Josh Beaumont in the second row following a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle in the Sharks’ clash with Toulouse two weeks ago. 

Jono Ross captains the side in the absence of Ben Curry, whilst Sam Dugdale steps in to replace the flanker after his England call up to Steve Borthwick’s England squad. Jean-Luc du Preez retains the number 8 shirt with twin-brother Dan remaining on the side lines due to an ongoing hand injury. 

Gus Warr continues to provide a platform for success at scrum-half and links up with centurion Rob du Preez, who is named at fly-half. 

The ever-present Sam James retains the thirteen shirt with Ryan Mills picked at inside centre in the absence of Manu Tuilagi. The former Wasps centre is one of two changes in the Sharks’ back line. 

Sanderson’s second change in the backs comes in the form of Tom Roebuck, who replaces Arron Reed on the wing after an impressive cameo in the Champions Cup. Tom O’Flaherty is named on the other wing, with exciting academy graduate Joe Carpenter at full-back. 

On the bench, Ewan Ashman, Ross Harrison and Joe Jones are named as front-row replacements, with Alex Groves and Rouban Birch providing further cover for the forwards. Raffi Quirke, Luke James and Arron Reed cover the backs. 

Sale Sharks Starting XV: 

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Ryan Mills, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. Jono Ross (c), 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez 


16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Alex Groves, 20. Rouban Birch, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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Rogerson pens new contract with London Irish



London Irish is delighted to announce that Club captain Matt Rogerson has signed a new contract with the Club.

The 29-year-old has continued to be a bedrock of Irish’s back-row this year with one more try added to his total haul of 14 in five seasons as an Exile.

Rogerson recently exceeded the 100-appearance milestone as a London Irish player, making a century of appearances in a 39-17 Gallagher Premiership victory against Newcastle Falcons at the Gtech Community Stadium in December 2022.

Speaking on extending his time with London Irish, Matt Rogerson explained his decision to continue his career with the west Londoners.

“Today is a great day for me personally and for my family. I recently played in my 100th game for the Club, which was an incredibly emotional occasion, but one I will remember fondly for years to come.

“Working with such a talented pool of players every day is inspiring to me, having the opportunity to lead them alongside Rob, Paddy and Adam is a great privilege that is not lost on me.

“I can’t thank the supporters enough for embracing me in recent years, and hopefully, many more milestones are ahead for me here being part of the London Irish family.”

The skipper, in his second full season captaining the Boys in Green, signed from Jersey Reds upon conclusion of the 2017/18 season to then contribute to his new Club’s promotion bid in the following campaign.

London Irish Director of Rugby Declan Kidney affirmed his praise of Rogerson as a “true leader” of the team.

“We are delighted to have Matt continue in our ranks going forward. Matt is the consummate professional, on and off the pitch, he sets very high standards for himself and leads by example, always giving 100% to the team and squad, be it in a match, training or off pitch duties.

“As a true leader through these last few years, he has and continues to be an example that all other players and staff can look up to. We would like to thank Matt and his family for his continued commitment to London Irish.”

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Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby

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