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PREVIEW: Richards wants to make home advantage count

Tuesday 19th January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Newcastle Falcons winger Dan Marshall says their European Rugby Challenge Cup clash with Lyon is a must-win game. - 16/12/2016 10:15

Newcastle Falcons winger Dan Marshall says their European Rugby Challenge Cup clash with Lyon is a must-win game. - 16/12/2016 10:15

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby wants his side to make the most of home advantage when they face Brive with their European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 1 hopes on the line.

The Aviva Premiership club suffered a damaging defeat to tournament newcomers Enisei-STM in Russia last weekend to leave them facing an uphill struggle to make it through to the quarter-finals.

A bonus-point win over the French side would give the Falcons a chance of topping the pool, as long as Enisei-STM can win at Connacht, although a win for the Irish side would not be the end of Newcastle’s hopes as if results go their way a best runner-up spot remains a possibility.

Richards admits the long journey to Russia will have a knock-on effect for this week’s preparations, but is eager to gain revenge for their defeat to Brive in the opening round of fixtures.

“We will be back in the North-East for our final game, we will get the journey out of the lads’ legs and be back into training ready for the challenge of facing Brive where the focus will be on going out and winning,” said the former Harlequins and Leicester boss.

“We were in some ways unfortunate not to take the win against them over in France back in November. We certainly played a lot of good rugby and if we can use that performance as a starting point and add in good home support, then we should be well placed.”

Match Facts

  • Brive have won each of their last five matches against Newcastle, a run that dates back to October 2008.
  • Newcastle have won nine of their last 11 matches at home in the Challenge Cup including both home games this season.
  • Newcastle have won only one of their last seven matches against teams from France in the Challenge Cup, with three of the losses in that period coming against Brive.
  • Brive have lost their last six matches away from home in the Challenge Cup, scoring just 10 points per game on average in that span.


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REPORT: Falcons swoop to win at the end

Saturday 23rd January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Mis sous pression par le Connacht qui recevait l'Enisei-STM dans le même temps

Mis sous pression par le Connacht qui recevait l'Enisei-STM dans le même temps

Simon Hammersley’s late try clinched a thrilling win for Newcastle Falcons and knocked Brive out of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The full-back stormed over six minutes from time as Falcons snatched victory at Kingston Park. Brive looked to have clinched top spot in Pool 1 and with it a place in the last eight after a tremendous comeback.

The former European champions came from 22-3 behind to lead 23-22 on 74 minutes only for Hammersley to crush their hopes as Connacht progressed instead as pool leaders. It was a fitting climax given Hammersley had opened the scoring with a try after just three minutes.

Will Welch pounced on a turnover in midfield. Alex Tait provided support and Chris Harris went close before Hammersley finished. Brive lost Guillaume Namy to the sin bin and Craig Willis punished them with a penalty.

However, Brive survived the 10 minute spell without further damage after Thomas Laranjeira and Willis traded penalties. Newcastle then looked to have grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck when Tait finished Juan Socino’s burst from a line-out.

And wing Micky Young then followed for a third after Scott Lawson went close. Willis' conversion opened a 22-3 lead at half-time.

Brive were galvanised into action and anther barnstorming break by Christopher Tuatara ended with Nicolas Bezy crossing. Falcons’ discipline then wavered as Brive stepped up the pressure and Laranjeira kicked two penalties to cut the lead to 22-16 on the hour.

The outstanding Tuatara then barged over and Laranjeira’s conversion put Brive ahead by a point with 11 minutes to go. But Falcons mustered a response when they need it most and Hammersley finished a wonderful flowing attack, kicking ahead and scooping up possession to win the game.

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