Premiership: Newcastle Falcons 19-14 Bristol

Newcastle Falcons
Newcastle Falcons had led 19-0 at half-time
Newcastle (19) 19
Tries: Socino, Welch, Hodgson Cons: Delany 2
Bristol (0) 14
Tries: Fisher, Eadie Cons: Jarvis 2

Newcastle Falcons survive a second-half fightback from Bristol at Kingston Park to earn their third win of the season.

Juan Pablo Socino, Will Welch and Joel Hodgson's first-half tries had given Newcastle a 19-point lead.

But Bristol - who are yet to win since returning to the Premiership - crossed through John Fisher and Mitch Eadie to cut the deficit to five points.

Falcons held on to win and inflict a sixth defeat out of six on Bristol, who remain bottom of the table.

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Both teams finished the match with 14 players as Newcastle's Alex Rogers and Bristol's Gaston Cortez were both sent to the sin bin.

The visitors pushed late on in a tense finish but were unable to complete an impressive comeback - although they did claim their second losing bonus point of the season to double their points tally.

Joel Hodgson and Mike Delany both missed second-half penalties that could have given Falcons a bigger cushion in the closing stages.

But the hosts' dominant first-half display proved enough to win the match, with Hodgson's slick score shortly before half-time proving decisive.

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards: "If you'd asked me 15 minutes before kick off would I take a 19-14 win the answer would have been yes, but I'm sitting here now slightly frustrated and so is the team.

"We're in the top half of the Premiership with three wins and a couple of losing bonus points but we do have a lot of injuries to key players and were a little frustrated rather than happy.

"We played so well in the first half and could have scored two or three more tries and we could have done with those in the second half because we took our foot off the gas.

"They had two chances and took them both and our kicking went off a little and that was probably the root cause of the problem. I never thought we would ever lose but we could well have thrown it away."

Bristol director of rugby Andy Robinson: "I thought we started reasonably well but we lost our discipline and it was a bit of an own goal when Newcastle scored their first try and that gave them the momentum.

"In the second half, we started to get up off the line, made our tackles and gained momentum. We scored two really good tries but unfortunately just could not keep that momentum going.

"That second half was pleasing in that it proved we do have the talent to succeed in the Premiership.

"We did some good things here today and in the opening game of the season, but we wanted at least one win from the first six games of the season and we're frustrated we haven't done that."

Newcastle: Hammersley; Tait, Waldouck, Socino, Sinoti; Delany, Young; Vickers, Lawson, D Wilson, Green, Olmstead, M Wilson, Welch (capt), Hogg.

Replacements: Sowrey, Rogers, Welsh, Witty, Temm, Takulua, Hodgson, Agulla.

Bristol: J Williams; Edwards, Tovey, Hurrell, Lemi; Pisi, Cliff; Traynor, McMillan, Perenise, Glynn, Sorenson, Eadie, Lam (capt), Crane.

Replacements: Crumpton, Bevington, Cortes, Phillips, Fisher, Williams, Jarvis, Wallace.

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