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Newcastle Falcons (15) 10-11 (21) Edinburgh Rugby

A brace of tries from top winger Tim Visser ensured Edinburgh Rugby go into the competitive campaign off the back of a 21-15 win, secured against Newcastle Falcons at Mansfield Park tonight.

The lead changed hands three times in the first-half with goal kicking the difference in the try-apiece opening forty, Visser and former scrum-half Mike Blair the ones to dot down.

The Falcons pack cancelled out Visser's second score of the evening, with the kicks for the sticks making the points difference on the night.

Head coach Alan Solomons, said: "I thought we defended very well tonight, which was pleasing in a way.

"In the last 20 minutes we had a very young side with relatively little experience and I think they kept their compusure well when we were under the pump.

The big positive is that a lot of lads have gotten game time and, as we were treating this more like a competitive game, it was good get the win."

Match report...

The Scots started brightly, with half-backs Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Greig Tonks linking well to orchestrate the backs, with one particular attack releasing Visser down the tram lines.

The prolific Scotland cap offloaded back inside to Hidalgo-Clyne, who raced for the line, only to be brought down and out at the corner flag.

A fine carry from 18-year old back-row Jamie Ritchie then resulted in the game’s first penalty kick at goal, though sadly Tonks could not convert.

After quarter of an hour tight-head prop John Andress put in a great hit to halt an attack from the resurgent Falcons, only to follow it up by coming off his feet at the resulting breakdown to concede a penalty in front of the posts.

Newcastle's Argentine stand-off Juan Pablo Socino accepted the opportunity and opened the scoring with the easiest of three pointers (3-0).

The score, however, did not disrupt the flow of the capital club, who bounced back immediately, as their backs continued in their invention.

Hidalgo-Clyne snatched and shifted the ball from the breakdown to stand-off Greig Tonks, who spotted the on-rushing defence and grubbered the ball clean through.

Visser was first to the ball, kicked on over the line and touched down to score, though unfortunately for the Scots, Tonks could not convert (3-5).

It then fell to Newcastle to hit back.

Several phases saw the Englishmen work their way up to the Edinburgh five-metre line, where they won a breakdown penalty.

The penalty was taken quickly and tracked across field to Blair who sneaked over the try line; Socino added the extras to retake the lead (10-5).

Unfortunately for Blair his chance to enjoy hitting back against his former club was cut short as he knocked on the restart.

Edinburgh Rugby’s pack won a penalty from the resulting scrum and Tonks made no mistake with his third attempt on goal (10-8).

The players continued to deliver a combative display, yielding more penalties at the breakdown, allowing Tonks to strike another three points from distance to give his men a deserved lead.

HALF-TIME: Newcastle Falcons 10-11 Edinburgh Rugby

Not one to be outdone by his club competition, replacement scrum-half Sean Kennedy got the backline moving from the get-go, putting a fine grubber through to the opposition five metre line where Newcastle knocked on in the scramble to clear.

It was in the 22 that Edinburgh yielded back-to-back penalties, opting for successive lineouts instead of three-pointers, though their intent was not rewarded as the Newcastle defence held firm and eventually cleared their lines.

It was from such a clearance however that Edinburgh Rugby secured their second score of the game.

Replacement full-back Nick McLennan took a quick lineout and sent the ball to Tonks who stepped out, and passed in, to Visser who came on to the ball at blistering pace to slice through the Falcons defence from half way and touch down under the posts.

Tonks added the extras (10-18).

After a series of replacements Edinburgh were backed into an extended passage of defending, and were ultimately penalised for not rolling away.

Newcastle kicked for touch and their maul powered its way over the line from short range, with their pack taking the collective credit for the unconverted score (15-18).

The Engishmen continued to battle their way forward, with the monstrous Tuilagi brothers Andy and Alex adding significant weight to their cause.

Still the Edinburgh men held firm and, after turning over ball and earning a penalty just inside the half-way line, replacement stand-off Tom Heathcote hit the ball straight and true through the sticks to secure the well-earned win.

FULL-TIME: Newcastle Falcons (10) 15-21 (11) Edinburgh Rugby

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley; 14 Tom Catterick, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Noah Cato; 10 Juan Pablo Socino, 9 Mike Blair; 1 Rob Vickers, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Calum Green, 5 Dom Barrow, 6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch CAPTAIN 8 Ally Hogg. Substitutes: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Eric Fry, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Josh Furno, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Ruki Tipuna, 22 Alex Tuilagi, 23 Andy Saull, 24 Jamie Helleur, 25 Phil Godman, Andy Tuilagi.

Edinburgh Rugby: 15 Jack Cuthbert; 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Sam Beard, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser; 10 Greig Tonks, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; 1 Rory Sutherland, 2 Ross Ford CAPTAIN, 3 John Andress, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 5 Ollie Atkins, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 7 Hamish Watson, 8 Tomas Leonardi. Substitutes: 16 James Hilterbrand on for Ford (62’), 17 Alasdair Dickinson on for Sutherland (40’), 18 Simon Berghan on for Andress (62’), 19 Ben Toolis on for McKenzie (65’), 20 Alex Toolis, 21 Magnus Bradbury on for Ritchie (75’) , 22 Grayson Hart on for Kennedy (65’), 23 Sean Kennedy on for Hidalgo-Clyne (40’), 24 Tom Heathcote on for Tonks (65’), 25 Phil Burleigh on for Beard (40’), 26 Joaquin Dominguez, 27 Nick McLennan on for Cuthbert (40’).

Team lineups

Newcastle Falcons
Edinburgh Rugby







There is no points table for this competition.