Falcons bag crucial win against Warriors
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Zach Kibirige scored his third try in two matches to help inspire Newcastle Falcons to their first win in six and a crucial 17-6 victory over Worcester Warriors.
Kibirige fired up the boosters at the beginning of the first half to get his side on the right foot, with man-of-the-match Toby Flood also crossing before half-time.
Worcester could only respond with two Duncan Weir penalties, with both sides scoreless in the second half – the gap between the sides at the bottom of the table is now down to five points.
Falcons got off to the perfect start as Kibirige grabbed his third try in two games in wonderful style, picking up from a loose ruck and accelerating away to sprint in under the posts.
Flood kicked the conversion before trading penalties with Weir for a 10-3 lead – the Warriors fly-half cutting the deficit to four on 26 minutes.
From a five-metre scrum Newcastle got their second, as the scrum span left and Flood ghosted through a gap before converting his own score.
Kibirige continued to impress but was denied a second try as he lost the ball in the act of dotting down, with the score remaining at 17-6 at half-time.
With the North Stand roaring the home side on amid teeming rain neither side could make the next telling blow in an intense third quarter.
Attacks continued to batter away at defences but no side could breakthrough, with Worcester’s lineout twice malfunctioning in the final ten minutes to hinder their chances of a comeback.
Tries: Kibirage, Flood
Cons: Flood 2
Pens: Weir 2
Newcastle: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Gary Graham, 6 Will Welch (captain), 5 Andrew Davidson, 4 Calum Green, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Sam Lockwood.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 David Wilson, 19 Will Witty, 20 Nemani Nagusa, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Josh Matavesi.
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Tom Howe, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ryan Mills (captain), 11 Bryce Heem, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Marco Mama, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Ted Hill, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Ethan Waller.
Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Callum Black, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Pierce Phillips, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Ollie Lawrence.
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Matthew O’Grady & Wayne Falla.
TMO: Rowan Kitt