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Newcastle Falcons v London Irish



Newcastle’s last seven matches in the Guinness Premiership have gone: lost, won, lost, won, lost, won, lost. So a win is on the cards! All the three wins have been at Kingston Park against Sale, Leeds and Worcester.
London Irish have won just one of their last four games in the Premiership: 20-19 against Harlequins at Twickenham on the opening weekend of the new season. Away from home the Exiles have lost successive matches at Leicester and Wasps.
The two sides clashed three times in all competitions last season, with each team winning away from home in the Premiership and London Irish victorious 27-22 at Kingston Park in the semi-final of the European Challenge Cup. The Exiles have won on five of their last seven visits to Newcastle.
Neal Hatley’s next match will see him set a new record for Premiership appearances, surpassing Tony Diprose’s previous mark of 174 games.

My prediction for this game is Newcastle 16 - 24 London Irish

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Newcastle Falcons team: 15-Matthew Burke (capt), 14-Tom May, 13-Jamie Noon, 12-Mark Mayerhofler, 11-Tim Visser, 10-Toby Flood, 9-James Grindal, 1-Robbie Morris, 2-Andy Long, 3-David Wilson, 4-Andy Perry, 5-Jason Oakes, 6-Andy Buist, 7-Ben Woods, 8-Phil Dowson
Replacements: Johnny Williams Micky Ward Matt Thompson Mike McCarthy Brent Wilson

London Irish team: 15-Michael Horak, 14-Topsy Ojo, 13-Mike Catt (capt), 12-Riki Flutey, 11-Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10-Barry Everitt, 9-Richie Rees, 1-Neal Hatley, 2-Robbie Russell, 3-Richard Skuse, 4-Nick Kennedy, 5-James Hudson, 6-Kieran Roche, 7-Olivier Magne, 8-Juan Leguizamon
Replacements: Tonga Lae'aetoa, Danie Coetzee, David Fitter, Phil Murphy, Aidan McCullen, Shane Geraghty, Delon Armitage.
Visser try not enough
By Ben Blackmore - Created on 22 Sep 06
Guinness Premiership, Kingston Park, Friday September 22, 8pm

Prolific young Dutch winger Tim Visser scored his third try in as many games for Newcastle, but it was not enough to prevent the Falcons running out 26-21 losers against London Irish.

Exiles boss Brian Smith introduced Barry Everitt for the Kingston Park encounter, and it proved a masterstroke as the metronomic stand-off converted seven penalties.

Newcastle outscored the visitors two tries to one - Mark Mayerhofler grabbing a late score to give them hope after Riki Flutey levelled Visser's opener, but once again indiscipline cost the Falcons dear.

Everitt showed why he is London Irish's record points-scorer with a faultless display, helping them to join Northampton on nine points in the Premiership table.

Driving rain always threatened to ruin the game as a spectacle, and so it proved as penalties punctured Newcastle's display.

David Wilson was the prime transgressor, pushing referee Martin Fox's patience too far and earning a yellow card for going over the ball.

Everitt was always on hand to punish the Falcons, and by contrast Matt Burke failed to capitalise on the Exiles' mistakes.

Visser got the hosts off to the perfect start, pouncing on Toby Flood's teasing crossfield kick to race past the committed Topsy Ojo.

It was a deserved try after earlier near-misses from both he and Mayerhofler, but John Fletcher's men failed to develop their momentum.

Instead, the Falcons' forwards were forced onto the back foot, before quick ball allowed Riki Flutey to dart over.

Penalties continued to arrive with alarming frequency for offside or spoiling tactics, each time Everitt kept the scoreboard ticking over.

A rare Burke three-pointer made it 20-13 to the Irish, and it could have been better as the ever-dangerous Visser went close again.

Following two more penalties Mayerhofler bundled over for 23-21, but Burke was unable to restore parity as his conversion drifted left.

Instead it was Everitt who nailed the final kick of the match, securing a crucial win for last season's play-off semi-finalists.


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