Premiership: Newcastle Falcons beat Wasps 27-17 to earn third straight Premiership win

Newcastle were on top right from the off against last year's Premiership runners-up at the Ricoh Arena
Newcastle were on top right from the off against last year's Premiership runners-up at the Ricoh Arena
Gallagher Premiership
Wasps (5) 17
Tries: Odogwu, West, Douglas Con: Umaga
Newcastle (17) 27
Tries: Radwan, Fuser, Stevenson Cons: Flood 3 Pens: Flood 2

Newcastle Falcons made it three wins out of three since their return to the Premiership as they outplayed misfiring Wasps at the Ricoh Arena.

First-half tries from winger Adam Radwan and lock Marco Fuser earned the visitors a 17-5 half-time lead.

Paolo Odogwu's fine solo effort at least gave the home side some hope.

But Wasps were hit by Ben Stevenson's 60-metre interception try just after the break before late tries for Tom West and full debutant Levi Douglas.

Weakened Wasps were already without England trio Jack Willis, Dan Robson and Joe Launchbury, and Wales lock Will Rowlands, who all remained on Autumn Nations Cup duty.

They were further depleted prior to kick-off when they also lost Tom Willis, who had been selected to start the game as a replacement, meaning a call-up to bench duty for Josh Caulfield.

The on-loan Cornish Pirates forward had to wait just a minute to make his Wasps debut, called on with Tim Cardall as temporary replacements when Douglas and fellow lock James Gaskell both went off after a clash of heads.

On his first Premiership start for Wasps, Douglas passed his head injury assessment to come back on 10 minutes later, marking his afternoon by scoring with the final play of the game.

But Wasps were well beaten by then, by a confident, in-form Newcastle side who have now seamlessly followed up their opening night 19-12 victory at Bath and last weekend's 15-13 home win over Sale to sit second behind Exeter in the Premiership table.

After Toby Flood's early penalty, the first of five successful kicks for the former England stand-off, Newcastle got the game's first try when they worked the ball down the line for Radwan to touch down in the corner.

Wasps responded well when Sam Wolstenholme's cross-kick to the right flank found Odogwu who, after a quick one-two with his winger Zach Kibirige, sprinted clear for his third try in two matches.

But Newcastle extended their lead when Fuser struck from just a yard out and the Falcons then extended their lead when Stevenson read Lima Sopoaga's pass to perfection four minutes after the restart and raced clear.

After home captain Thomas Young dropped the ball five yards out with the line at his mercy, Flood's penalty then crucially pushed the margin beyond three scores.

Tries by West, again unconverted, and Douglas, improved by Jacob Umaga, at least put a bit of late gloss on the scoreline.

Wasps boss Lee Blackett told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"We're gutted. Plenty of aspects of our game were off. Our basics let us down, Our execution was nowhere near up to standard. And we gave them a try with an interception.

"We had a lot of things happen in the week. There's been a lot of enforced chopping and changing. We just haven't had any sense of continuity. There's a lot of little things we need to work on.

"We're not going to panic. We'll have our internationals for the European game with Dragons next week, then they'll have a couple of weeks off, but we have to see that as a bit of a reset button. It won't take much to switch it back on again."

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards:

"The bubble will burst eventually but the whole idea is that it doesn't burst. We hope we just keep on going as long as we can.

"Wasps had a couple of chances they might have taken but overall we probably deserved it and it was overall a fair reflection.

"The boys were just as committed as they have been over the last two weeks. It's all about work rate, team spirit and just getting out there and doing it."

Wasps: Sopoaga; Kibirige, Odogwu, Gopperth, Bassett; Umaga, Wolstenholme; McIntyre, Taylor, Toomaga-Allen, Douglas, Gaskell, Morris, Young (capt), Barbeary.

Replacements: Oghre, West, Brookes, Cardall, Caulfield, Porter, Le Bourgeois, Minozzi.

Newcastle: Penny; Radwan, Burrell, Flood, Stevenson; Connon, Young (capt); Davison, McGuigan, Mulipola, Peterson, Fuser, Robinson, Collett, Graham.

Replacements: Blamire, Brocklebank, Tampin, Barry, Basham, Schreuder, Hodgson, Wacokecoke.

Referee: Andrew Jackson (RFU).

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