Newcastle A continuity too strong for Wasps A
Newcastle underlined the huge progress they are making this season by completing an A League double over Wasps with a comfortable 62-12 success at Kingston Park.
The Falcons dominated a first half during which they claimed five tries, including a brace from Fijian brothers Josh and Joel Matavesi.
And after a tighter third quarter, the home side hit the accelerator again in the closing stages, to finish with ten touchdowns.
Josh Grimes and Craig Hampson responded for a young Wasps side featuring 12 guests, who battled bravely against more cohesive opponents who included a number of internationals.
Wasps got off to the worst possible start when Newcastle’s Matavesi brothers combined for centre Joel to send winger Josh over in the second minute.
Craig Willis, who scored 17 points for Falcons A during their win at Broadstreet in September, added the conversion.
The visitors’ front row started well, but when they won a scrum penalty, Scotland under 20’s fly half Connor Eastgate’s 48 metre kick rebounded from the upright after a fine effort.
And worse followed from a Wasps perspective, as winger Zach Kibiridge scorched 80 metres to claim the hosts’ second try, again upgraded by Willis.
The hosts’ No.10 then found the posts for a third time after their skipper Ryan Burrows had gone over.
Powerful winger Grimes had started well for the black-and-golds, and he got his reward by claiming an excellent opening try.
The Nottingham No.14 started and finished a move which was continued by Jacob Umaga and some good handling from the forwards.
Eastgate added the extras with a fine kick, after which Wasps skipper Hampson was able to connect with his support following a sharp break.
However, the Falcons soon had the bonus point in the bank thanks to a second Matavesi try, again converted by Willis.
Brendan Macken’s break made good inroads but ended with the visitors being penalised at the next phase, close to the Falcons line, before Argentinian hooker Santiago Socino forced his way over for the home side’s fifth try.
Wasps were then unable to translate either Umaga’s break or a five metre attacking lineout into points, which left the hosts with a 33-7 interval advantage.
This was extended by a further seven points soon after the restart when referee Matt Turvey awarded a penalty try at a close-range scrum.
Guy Armitage got a foot in to deny Newcastle’s chip-and-chase close to the visitors’ line, and the big winger was soon in action at the other end where he combined neatly with Umaga, who was now operating from full back.
Newcastle’s newly-arrived Tongan international back-rower Opeti Fonua then claimed the hosts’ seventh try in support of a slashing break from the pacy Kibiridge, after which right winger Adam Radwan went over for a score which Willis improved.
Ben Lloyd arrived from the bench for Wasps early in the fourth quarter, and this triggered the visitors to claim a second try through scrum half Hampson’s fine solo effort.
However, the Falcons soon hit back through replacement Tom Penny, who cut a good line from 25 metres, before replacement hooker Ben Sowrey rounded things off from close range.
Photo credit Chris Lishman
Newcastle: Brett Connon; Adam Radwan, Josh Matavesi, Joel Matavesi, Zach Kibiridge; Craig Willis, Ruaridh Dawson; Sam Lockwood, Santiago Socino, Trevor Davison; Glen Young, Andrew Davidson; Harrison Orr, Ally Hogg, Ryan Burrows.
Replacements - Ben Sowrey, Jack Payne, Adam Brocklebank, Opeti Fonua, Simon Uzokwe, Dan Nutton (Newcastle University), Tom Penny, Aedan Maloney (Northumbria University).
Wasps: Will Millett (Nottingham); Josh Grimes (Nottingham), Brendan Macken, Jacob Umaga, Guy Armitage; Connor Eastgate, Craig Hampson; George Thornton, Gabriel Oghre, Gareth Smith (Broadstreet); Marcus Garratt, Guy Borrowdale (Rotherham Titans); James Seabrook, Will Owen (Unattached), George Cox (Nottingham).
Replacements - TJ Harris, Harry Morley, Jake Dodd (Broadstreet), James Moreton (Broadstreet), Lewis Grinsell (Ampthill),
Francisco Vieira (Rotherham), Owain Davies (Army), Ben Lloyd (Hertford).
Referee - Matt Turvey
Tries: Joel Matavesi (1), Josh Matavesi (1), Kibiridge, Burrows, Socino, Penalty Try, Fonua, Radwan, Penny, Sowrey.
Conversions: Willis (5)
Tries: Grimes, Hampson
Half-time: Newcastle 33-7 Wasps