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Newcastle Falcons host Cardiff Rugby in Round 2 of the EPCR Challenge Cup on Saturday – two sides who enjoyed contrasting fortunes in the opening round of the competition.
Newcastle caused Connacht Rugby some problems at The Sportsground but were ultimately beaten 22-8 by the Irish province.
Meanwhile, Cardiff ran in seven tries as they thrashed CA Brive 41-0 at Cardiff Arms Park.
The Pool A match kicks off at 17:30 (UK & Irish time) at Kingston Park and can be watched on Viaplay-Premier Sports or FloRugby.
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) December 15, 2022
Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder: “We’re looking forward to hosting Cardiff and we always relish playing in front of our supporters. The way the tournament format is this season means there are a lot of matches with plenty riding on them and next weekend is no different.”
Cardiff Rugby director of rugby Dai Young: “We know we’ll have to go up a couple of gears to get a victory against Newcastle. Yes, we won, but not being disrespectful, I think we were in third gear for most of the game and we’ll need to step up at least two gears next week.
- Newcastle made a round-high 199 tackles against Connacht last week. Tom Marshall alone made 20 – as many as any other play in the round.
- Falcons last played Cardiff in December 2020, falling 33-20, and have won only two of their six matches they’ve played against them.
- Cardiff won only 57 per cent of their attacking lineouts against CA Brive – the lowest success rate of the round.
- They won six scrum penalties and scored two maul tries – both the highest totals of the opening round.
- They also won a round-high four turnovers at a maul.
- Cardiff scored five first-phase tries in Round 1, four of which came from the scrum – both round-high figures.
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Cardiff Rugby ran rampant for the second week running in the EPCR Challenge Cup, following their 41-0 home drubbing of CA Brive last weekend with a 47-10 romp at Newcastle Falcons in Pool A on Saturday.
Tries from Josh Adams, Rhys Priestland, Owen Lane and Rhys Carre got the job done for the two-time winners, with the bonus point secured in the first half.
And they did not take their foot off the pedal in the second half, a penalty try being followed by a second for Adams and one for Mason Grady.
Priestland also contributed with the boot, converting five of the tries to take his tally for the game to 15.
Newcastle did manage to get a try of their own, Sam Stuart sprinting over at the start of the second half for a try that was improved by Josh Thomas, who also kicked a penalty.