A BRAVE effort form Nottingham was not enough to prevent
Newcastle Falcons from continuing their 100 per cent
The home side's 29-9 victory was certainly deserved, but the
Green and Whites underlined their recent improvement by putting
them under pressure in a couple of impressive first half spells,
and then with some dogged defence in the second.
Fielden secures the four-try bonus-point win for Falcons with his
late effort against Nottingham.
Indeed their defensive resolve looked like it may deny Falcons a
bonus point before winger Luke Fielden touched down in the corner
for a late try.
The home side took an early lead with a try from flanker Richard
Mayhew as the pack put in a powerful drive from a close range
lineout. Outside half Jimmy Gopperth added the conversion.
A James Arlidge penalty reduced the deficit to four points, and
gave the Green and Whites heart. They began to get more into the
game and soon reduced the gap further with a second Arlidge
Minutes before the break Arlidge had a chance to put his side in
front with a long-range penalty, but his effort drifted wide of the
A late surge from Falcons saw them extend their lead with a
penalty from Gopperth just before the break.
And the full back almost got a second penalty in the opening
minutes of the second half, but his effort hit the post and
Nottingham were able to clear the danger.
Minutes later though Alex Tait crossed, with Gopperth adding the
conversion to make it 17-6, only for Arlidge to nudge over his
third penalty of the game.
The longer the game went on, the more Newcastle threw at
Nottingham. But it was not until prop Matt Parr was sin-binned
eight minutes from time that the home side finally made the break
through they had threatened as the referee awarded them a penalty
Nottingham's defence still looked like holding the home side out
though until that late try from Fielden finally secured the bonus
Gopperth missed the conversion but there was still time for Tait
to waste a golden opportunity as he knocked on in the last play of
The defeat saw Nottingham drop a place to third in the
Championship table following Bedford's narrow win over
Falcons 29 (R Mayhew, A Tait, L Fielden,
Penalty try; Gopperth 3 conv; Gopperth pen) Nottingham
Rugby 9 (J Arlidge 3 pens)
Attendance: 3,458 at Kingston Park