Falcons flying high again

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 06:39
Large newcastle falcons 7s celebr

Newcastle Falcons are back with the big boys and if the Premiership Sevens Series is anything to go by then they mean business too after booking themselves a Finals spot.

Newcastle Falcons are back with the big boys and if the Premiership Sevens Series is anything to go by then they mean business too after booking themselves a Finals spot.

Last season's relegation not only condemned Newcastle to the Championship for a season but also rid them of the chance to defend their Premiership Sevens crown they won in 2011 after beating Saracens in the final.

And Newcastle look determined to get back their title as they beat Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks at Franklin's Gardens on Friday to secure safe passage to the Series Final at the Rec on August 9 as group winners.

They will be joined by Leicester Tigers after they got the better of Midlands rivals Northampton Saints in the night's final game, with Worcester Warriors and Gloucester having booked their tickets to Bath 24 hours earlier from the opener at Kingsholm.

Hosts Northampton were first up at Franklin's Gardens as they welcomed Newcastle back into the Premiership fold - the Falcons going on to spoil the party with a 28-22 victory.

Tom Catterick and Michael Tait got Newcastle off to a flying start before veteran Saint Paul Diggin pulled one back for his side.

Captain Richard Mayhew then stretched Newcastle's lead further before Saints threatened to snatch victory as Tom Collins scored twice and Harry Betts went over - only for Simon Hammersley to secure a Falcons win at the death.

Next up were Leicester and Sale with the Tigers pipping the Sharks 10-7 thanks to a late Tahir El Mahdi try.

The Sharks had taken the lead through Nathan Fowles only to see Jake Farnworth get Leicester back into the game before El Mahdi wrapped up the late victory whilst Sale's Will Cliff was in the sin-bin.

However Leicester were unable to record back-to-back victories as Newcastle continued their fine return to English rugby's top table with a 19-10 victory.

The Falcons raced into a 19-0 lead thanks to a Harrison Collins double and Catterick try, and although the Tigers clawed their way back into the game with tries from Pasqualle Dunn and Jake Farnworth they left themselves with too much to do.

Next up Sale made up for their earlier late loss to Leicester with one of their own thanks to a 24-22 victory over Northampton.

Sale looked to by flying thanks to a John O'Donnell double only for Diggin, captain Ryan Glynn and another Tom Collins double to see Saints leading late on.

But the home side couldn't hold on as Nathan and Josh Fowles went over to hand Sale their first victory of the evening.

In the next clash Newcastle made it a clean sweep with a 12-5 victory over Sale Sharks, tries from Joel Hodgson and captain Mayhew doing the damage, Tom Brady touching down in reply.

In a repeat of last year's Premiership final Northampton and Leicester faced off in a winner-takes-all tussle in the night's final game with the victor moving on to Bath for the Series Finals.

And it was once again Leicester left celebrating as they won 17-5, an El Mahdi double and a try from David Williams cancelling out an Alex Day score for Saints.

* For tickets to the Premiership Series Final on Friday, August 9 at The Rec, Bath visit: bathrugby.com/tickets

By Ben Baker, Sportsbeat

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
South Korea 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Uruguay 0 0 0 1 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens