Newcastle Falcons 35-21 Connacht: Eliminated Falcons get first Challenge Cup group victory

Newcastle Falcons 35-21 Connacht: Eliminated Falcons get first Challenge Cup group victory

Falcons centre Matias Orlando scored the second of his side’s five tries against Connacht at Kingston Park
Newcastle: (21) 35
Tries: Young, Orlando, Carreras, Barton, Lucock Cons: Schoeman 4, Thomas
Connacht: (14) 21
Tries: Bealham 3 Cons: Fitzgerald 3

Newcastle Falcons scored five tries in beating Connacht to seal their first European Challenge Cup group win.

Tries from scrum-half Micky Young and Argentines Matias Orlando and Matias Carreras earned a 21-14 half-time lead.

Connacht prop Finlay Bealham crossed twice to add to his first-half try to make it a treble but Josh Barton and Pete Lucock secured the five points.

Barton came off the bench to score the fourth try for a bonus point before centre Lucock’s late fifth, with Connacht still in range at 28-21, completed victory.

Connacht had already qualified for the next stage of the competition heading into the game at Kingston Park.

The top six from each of the two groups go through to the round of 16 knockout games, with four eliminated Champions Cup sides joining them. But Falcons had done themselves no favours by losing their first three games, without picking up any bonus points.

They could still have made it if Cardiff had beaten Brive in France, but the French side’s five-point win, allied to their bonus point against Connacht in December sneaked them ahead of Newcastle by just a point.

Newcastle: Tait; Stevenson, Orlando, Lucock, Carreras; Schoeman, Young; Mulipola, Blamire, Davison, Peterson, de Chaves, Graham, Van Der Walt, Fearns.

Replacements: Maddison, Brocklebank, Palframan, Lockwood, Rubiolo, Barton, Thomas, Radwan.

Connacht: Hansen; A Byrne, Ralston, Forde, Wootton; Fitzgerald, C Reilly; Buckley, Delahunt, Bealham, Fifita, J Murphy, Hurley-Langton, Oliver, Butler.

Replacements: Tierney-Martin, Duggan, Aungier, D Murray, Booth, Blade, Daly, Farrell.

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