Falcons snatch dramatic win over Sale
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Rob Vickers scored a last-minute try made sure Newcastle Falcons record a 35-30 win, after they had surrendered a 25-point lead to Sale Sharks at Kingston Park.
Callum Green, Gary Graham, Simon Hammersley and Scott Lawson all went over inside the opening half hour as the Falcons secured the try bonus point.
But Ben Curry and Marland Yarde tries brought the Sharks back into the game at half-time with the former England winger adding a second after the break.
The Sharks’ third try made it 25-25 with MacGinty pushing Sale ahead only for Vickers to keep Falcons’ semi-final hopes alive and secure a 35-30 win.
After an early Hodgson penalty, Green stole a Sharks line-out to put his side on the attack and, a few phases later, Sinoti Sinoti created space for the second row to score his first Newcastle try.
And the hosts extended their advantage on 15 minutes as a length of the field move which saw Will Welch brought down just shy of the line only for Graham to pick and dive over.
Hammersley continued the Falcons momentum with his own try as powerful handoff kept Paolo Odogwu at bay and allowed the fullback to make it 20-0.
Despite seeing Welch sent to the sin bin, the hosts had their bonus-point score inside half an hour as Hammersley was brought down only for Lawson to drive over from close range.
The Sharks got themselves onto the board through Curry as the flank seized upon a loose ball after Luke James had been on the crash ball from a line-out, to dot down.
And prior to the break, the Sharks had the second score with Yarde finding a hole in the Falcons defence to power through and reduce the deficit to 25-14.
Two MacGinty penalties saw the Sharks continue to work their way back into the game before Yarde’s second try of the evening completed a stunning comeback.
Brothers Luke and Sam James combined to get behind the Falcons’ defence before offloading to Yarde who dotted down and MacGinty’s conversion saw the visitors lead 27-25.
Hodgson slotted a long-range penalty on 70 minutes to restore the Falcons advantage over for his American opposite number MacGinty to make it 30-27 to the Sharks.
But Falcons worked their way into the Sharks 22 for just the second time in the second 40 in the final minutes and Rob Vickers bundled his way over from close range to seal the win.
For Newcastle Falcons:
Tries: Green, Graham, Hammersley, Lawson, Vickers
Cons: Hodgson 2
Pens: Hodgson 2
For Sale Sharks:
Tries: Curry, Yarde 2
Cons: MacGinty 3
Pens: MacGinty 3
Yellow Card: Will Welch (Falcons, 23)
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Michael Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Gary Graham, 6 Will Welch (captain), 5 Will Witty, 4 Calum Green, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Sam Lockwood
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Rob Vickers, 18 Trevor Davison, 19 Evan Olmstead, 20 Ryan Burrows, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Maxime Mermoz, 23 Alex Tait.
Sale Sharks: 15 Byron McGuigan, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Sam James, 12 Luke James, 11 Paolo Odogwu, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Faf De Klerk, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Ben Curry, 6 Jono Ross (Captain), 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 WillGriff John, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements 16 Marc Jones, 17 Alexandru Tarus, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Tom Curry, 22 Will Cliff, 23 Cameron Redpath.
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace & John Meredith.
TMO: Trevor Fisher.