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Last chance saloon for Newcastle against Connacht

Thursday 19th January 2023

12:41 pm (GMT)

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Last chance saloon for Newcastle against Connacht

Connacht won the reverse fixture 22-8 in Round 1

Newcastle Falcons will be hoping their home fans can provide a lift as they welcome Connacht Rugby in Round 4 of the EPCR Challenge Cup on Saturday.

Connacht have already qualified for the knockout stage of the competition – while Falcons are rooted to the foot of the pool, with no win yet this campaign, losing to Cardiff Rugby 42-10 last weekend.

The Irish province enjoyed a comfortable home win in Round 3, beating CA Brive 61-5, and will be gunning for top seeding for the knockout stage, while a victory for Newcastle would see them progress if results elsewhere go their way.

The Pool A match kicks off at Kingston Park at 5.30pm local time on Saturday, and can be watched on epcrugby.tv.

Key quote:

Connacht Rugby director of rugby Andy Friend: “Newcastle will be different again, they put a very big score on Leicester Tigers a few weeks ago. Let’s hope the momentum keeps going.”

Newcastle Falcons

  • Josh Thomas has kicked a competition-high four restarts which have been retained. His restart retention rate of 57 per cent is exceeded only by team-mate Brett Connon (67 per cent).
  • Tom Marshall has made the most ‘low’ tackles (below the waist) in the competition, amounting to 71 per cent of his tackles. He has also entered the most rucks in the competition, with 80.
  • Newcastle have made a tournament-low five clean breaks.

Connacht Rugby

  • Jack Carty scored the most points in Round 3 (16), missing just one of his nine goal attempts.
  • Mack Hansen made the joint-most carries at the weekend (19, equal with Bath’s Matt Gallagher). He also made the most metres (198), offloads (four), and clean breaks (three).
  • Both Josh Murphy and Niall Murray made three lineout steals in Round 3. No player has made more in a single match so far this season.

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No home advantage for Connacht after Newcastle loss

Saturday 21st January 2023

7:42 pm (GMT)

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No home advantage for Connacht after Newcastle loss

Mateo Carreras scores a try for Newcastle Falcons against Connacht Rugby in the EPCR Challenge Cup

Connacht Rugby missed out on home advantage in the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 as they were beaten 35-21 at Newcastle Falcons on Saturday.

The Irish province had already qualified for the knockout stage prior to the Round 4 contest, with Newcastle unable to advance after three straight defeats in Pool A.

Defeat for Cardiff Rugby at CA Brive earlier in the day meant Connacht could move top of the pool with a bonus-point win, but Newcastle were in fine form at Kingston Park.

Tries from Michael Young, Matias Orlando, Mateo Carreras, Josh Barton and Pete Lucock, four of which were converted by Tian Schoeman and the other by Josh Thomas, saw the hosts end their campaign with a win.

A Finlay Bealham hat-trick, all converted by Conor Fitzgerald, was not enough to get Connacht back into the game, and saw RC Toulon, Glasgow Warriors, Cardiff and Bristol Bears secure home Round of 16 ties.

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