Newcastle Falcons 17-38 Harlequins: Quins move up to third as Falcons stay bottom

Alex Dombrandt scores Quins' fifth try v Newcastle
Alex Dombrandt is congratulated as he scores Harlequins' fifth try
Gallagher Premiership
Newcastle (3) 17
Tries: Goneva, Chick Cons: Connon 2 Pen: Connon
Harlequins (28) 38
Tries: Crumpton, Earle, Ibitoye, Clifford, Dombrandt Cons: Smith 5 Pen: Smith

Harlequins climbed to third in the Premiership as they dismantled bottom side Newcastle at Kingston Park.

Tries from Max Crumpton, Nathan Earle, Gabriel Ibitoye and Jack Clifford had a bonus point in the bag by half-time.

Alex Dombrandt added to that tally early in the second half with a fifth as Quins threatened to run riot.

Newcastle did respond with tries of their own through Vereniki Goneva and Callum Chick but the deficit was too much for Dean Richards' men to make up.

Falcons now lie four points adrift at the bottom after Worcester's dramatic late win at home against Bath - and are seven points behind 10th-placed Bristol after the Bears got a losing bonus point at leaders Exeter.

The game was arguably done for the hosts at half-time as they trailed 28-3. But the width of a post denied them clawing it back to 7-6 early on.

Brett Connon's effort of the tee bounced back into open play and into Falcons' hands only for Josh Matavesi's expansive pass to be intercepted by Earle.

He then sprinted almost the length of the pitch for Quins' second try and their third came from an almost identical scenario when the ball was ripped out of Newcastle hands and then cleared by Mike Brown.

Joe Marchant latched on to the initial kick-chase before setting up Ibitoye to power through the Newcastle defence.

Number eight Clifford added the fourth after concerted pressure before half-time on the Newcastle tryline.

Those scores set up a first away win since late September and a sixth of the season for Quins, who are now a point ahead of fourth-placed Gloucester.

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards:

"In recent games, we have been creating chances and just not taking them, but today the boys just did not turn up.

"We gifted them the first three tries and we were chasing the game after that. It could have been different had the boys been switched on.

"We talked about it at half-time and then we went out there and conceded another try in the first few minutes.

"We made a little bit of a comeback then but it was too late - what happened in the first 15-20 minutes was the key to the game."

Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard:

"It may seem that the game was over after that first 40 minutes, but I would never discredit a team by saying that.

"The game was won in the first half initially because of our discipline and our defence.

"Our second try came from our defensive pressure and an intercept and then we kept them out and to keep a team of calibre down to three points in the first half is an achievement.

"They are a very dangerous team with a powerful back three, but we also started the second half pretty well which was pleasing."

Newcastle: Hammersley, Goneva, Harris, Matavesi, Arscott, Connon, Young, Davison, Cooper, Mulipola, Green, Witty, Welch (capt), Graham, Chick.

Replacements: Socino, Brocklebank, Wilson, Davidson, Burrows, Takulua, Swiel, Bettencourt.

Harlequins: Brown, Earle, Marchant, Saili, Ibitoye, Smith, Care (capt), Marler, Crumpton, Sinckler, Symons, Glynn, Dombrandt, Kunatani, Clifford.

Replacements: Elia, Auterac, Collier, Merrick, Bothma, Mulchrone, Lang, Morris.

Referee: Tom Foley (RFU).

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