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Wasps were punished by a fiery Newcastle, inspired by fly-half Jonny Wilkinson at Kingston Park this afternoon. The England man was in tremendous kicking form and Wasps paid a high price for second half handling errors and infringements.
Wasps started shakily as they have done for much of the campaign. An early try after nine minutes from John Leslie, dutifully converted by Wilkinson, giving Newcastle the lead.
The Black and Gold then failed to take advantage of Gary Armstrong's spell in the sin-bin and in fact the Scotsman returned to the field with his side a further three points ahead, after a Wilkinson penalty.
The visitors then picked themselves up after half an hour, and on 28 minutes Kenny Logan ran in for a try, assisted by some excellent running from deep from Josh Lewsey, that allowed Logan to take advantage of an overlap on the left. Logan stepped up to convert.
Kenny Logan named in the Scotland squad this week, looked to be out to prove to the watching Ian McGeechan that his choice had been a good one, when on 32 minutes he latched on to an quick-handed pass from Dallaglio, to grab his second try, which he converted.
Wasps looked to have taken control of the game 10-14, when Wilkinson put away his second penalty to lift the home side once more. Jamie Noon got the Falcons third try of the half and after Simon Shaw was penalised for going over the top, Wilkinson added another three points.
Newcastle came out for the second half with a 23-14 advantage, which was extended by Wilkinson after Martyn Wood gave away a penalty.
The scrum-half was quick to make amends however, and managed to squeeze in a try created by impressive running from Mark Denny, to bring the score to 26-19. Logan continued his 100% kicking record for the match and converted.
From this point on Newcastle turned on the style. Jonny Wilkinson kicking a right footed drop-goal from 45 metres, before notching up two more penalties as Wasps were penalised for holding on to ball.
Summer signing, Liam Botham got his first try on 62 minutes which Wilkinson naturally converted. More holding after the tackle, this time from Josh Lewsey, earned Wilkinson another three points.
Gary Armsrtong was then presented with his first gift of the afternoon, when Wasps knocked the ball out of the scrum for the number 9 to pick up and touch-down.
Two minutes later, replacement, Trevor Leota, dropped the ball at Armstrong's feet and the Scot was only too pleased to accept the gift and score his second try.
Wasps were given a glimmer of hope when Wilkinson missed his first kick of the day and looked to be on their way to a consolation try, when Liam Botham intercepted, as Wasps tried to take advantage of an overlap on the left, to run in his second.
Wasps were undone by a sharp Newcastle side who took advantage of every opportunity offered to them. Too often in the first half, Wasps failed to make full use of good periods of possession and in the second were run ragged by the precision kicking of Wilkinson and punished for their errors.
NEWCASTLE FALCONS 59
Tries: Leslie, Noon, Botham 2, Armstrong 2
Cons: Wilkinson 4
Pens: Wilkinson 6
Drop Goal: Wilkinson
15 Michael Stephenson, 14 Liam Botham, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 John Leslie, 11 Va'aiga Tuigamala, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Gary Armstrong, 1 George Graham, 2 Ross Nesdale, 3 Ian Peel, 4 Doddie Weir, 5 Stuart Grimes, 6 Ross Beattie, 7 Andrew Mower, 8 Jim Jenner.
Replacements: 16 Allen Chilten, 17 Tom May, 18 David Walder, 19 Hugh Vyvyan, 20 Micky Ward, 21 Christian Balshen, 22 Jimmy Cartmell.
LONDON WASPS 21
Tries: Logan 2, Wood
Cons: Logan 3
15 Josh Lewsey, 14 Shane Roiser, 13 Fraser Waters, 12 Mark Denney, 11 Kenny Logan, 10 Matthew Leek, 9 Martyn Wood. 1 Darren Molloy, 17 Phil Greening, 3 Will Green, 4 Andy Reed, 5 Simon Shaw, 6 Joe Worsley, 7 Paul Volley, 8 Lawrence Dallaglio
Replacements: 16 Alex Page, 2 Trevor Leota, 18 Paul Sampson, 19 Laurence Scrase, 20 Richard Birkett, 21 Joe Beardshaw, 22 Andy Le Chevalier.