A League: Wasps A lose opener to Falcons A

Newcastle Falcons A put in a commanding performance to beat Wasps A 21-67 in the opening A League game of the new season at Broadstreet Rugby Club.

Wasps started strongly and a great jinking run by Rob Miller set up Owain James to sprint away to score the opening try in the corner. Having set up the try, Miller added the conversion to make it 7-0 after four minutes.

The good start continued when Owain James made a powerful break down the left touchline to put Wasps in good field position. However, the Falcons defence held strong and forced a handling error from Wasps.

Newcastle came roaring back and looked to be in at the corner, but Wasps Under 18 winger Taju Atta made a fantastic try-saving tackle. That didn’t stop the visitors for long and from the resulting scrum they went over off first phase through Craig Willis. The conversion was added by the try scorer to level the match at 7-7.

Adam Radwan then scored a searing solo try as he sprinted around the Wasps defence to dot down on the wide left. Craig Willis added his second conversion to make it 7-14 to Newcastle.

After 19 minutes Craig Hampson picked up the pace of the game for Wasps with a quick tap and go and a kick through for centres Brendan Macken and Guy Armitage to chase, the Wasps chasers pushed their man into touch and Wasps had a good attacking opportunity. However, the ball went loose from the resulting lineout allowing Falcons to have an attack of their own. A big hit from Guy Armitage put an end to Newcastle’s threat and off the scrum captain Craig Hampson pushed play up to halfway with his clearance.

Back came the visitors slicing through Wasps’ midfield. The hosts were caught offside and Craig Willis extended Newcastle’s lead to 7-17. Falcons attack was flowing now and from the restart they made it back into Wasps’ 22, where despite a good rip from Gabriel Oghre the home side gave away another penalty. Willis made no mistake from in front to make it 7-20.

Wasps tried to strike back and looked like doing it, after a massive run from Guy Armitage, but the home side couldn’t secure the ball at the next breakdown and conceded a penalty for holding on. The black and golds carried on coming and quick hands created space for Owain James, but the final scoring pass didn’t quite go to hand. Connor Eastgate then put Brendan Macken through a hole, coming on a hard line for another break, but again Wasps couldn’t finish it off.

Newcastle tried to wrestle back momentum and looked certain to score but Taju Atta didn’t give up the chase and dislodged the ball with the line begging, for his second try saver. Again, that only delayed Newcastle getting a deserved score and a kick through from Craig Willis allowed Ben Stevenson to pounce on the ball for a try just before half time. Willis converted to make the score 7-27 at the break.

Falcons started the second half where they had left off in the first and went in the corner through Brett Connon. Willis added the conversion from the touchline on 42 minutes.

From close range Simon Uzokwe crashed over a couple of minutes later, before with his final touch Willis added another two for 7-41. Harrison Orr got Falcons’ sixth try, when he grounded a kick through, with Brett Connon adding the conversion.

Will Porter then sniped his way over from a ruck five metres out, to get one back for the home side. Craig Hampson converted to make it 14-41. Porter then made a second break a couple of minutes later, but the cover defence was up to the task and snuffed out the attack.

Wasps made a raft of changes, emptying the bench and soon after Morgan Passman slid over on the right. Connon missed the conversion to bring the score to 14-53.

Newcastle got another on 68 mins when Nick Civetta smashed his way over with a pick and go on the left touchline, which Connon converted. Glen Young was next on the score sheet for Falcons when he claimed a cross field kick and Connon converted once more.  

TJ Harris carried over the line to score a consolation try for Wasps on the final whistle and Hampson converted to make the final score 21-67.  

Wasps A 
15 Rob Miller
14 Taju Atta (Wasps Academy U18)
13 Brendan Macken
12 Guy Armitage
11 Owain James
10 Connor Eastgate
9  Craig Hampson (c) 
1 Ben Harris
2 Antonio Harris
3 Will Stuart
4  Cameron Gray (Coventry RFC)
5  Guy Borrowdale (Rotherham Titans)
6  Gabriel Oghre
7  James Seabrook
8 Tom Willis

Replacements
16 Will Owen
17 George Thornton
18 David Langley 
19 James Moreton (Broadstreet RFC) 
20 George Cox (Nottingham RFC) 
21 Will Porter
22 Josh Grimes (Nottingham RFC) 
23 Jo Davetanilavu (Army)

Falcons Development Team
15 Brett Connon
14 Cameron Cowell
13 Ben Stevenson
12 Charlie Wilson
11 Adam Radwan
10 Craig Willis
9 Ruaridh Dawson
1 Adam Brocklebank
2 Santiago Socino
3 Jake Ilnicki
4 Glen Young
5 Evan Olmstead
6 Harrison Orr
7 Simon Uzokwe
8 Ryan Burrows (captain)

Replacements:
16 Ben Sowrey
17 Jack Bergmanas
18 Diogo Ferreira
19 Nick Civetta
20 Gary Graham
21 Cameron Kelemeti
22 Morgan Passman
23 Max Davies