Andrew wary of killer Bees

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The Independent Online

Newcastle Falcons are making all the right noises in advance of today's Powergen Cup semi-final against Pertemps Bees at Kingston Park. Bidding for their third appearance in the final in six seasons, Rob Andrew's men could be forgiven for feeling nervous about their confrontation with the National League One outsiders.

Newcastle Falcons are making all the right noises in advance of today's Powergen Cup semi-final against Pertemps Bees at Kingston Park. Bidding for their third appearance in the final in six seasons, Rob Andrew's men could be forgiven for feeling nervous about their confrontation with the National League One outsiders.

Their opponents, formerly known as Birmingham/Solihull, sprang a huge upset when they beat Zurich Premiership champions Wasps 28-24 on their own ground in the quarter-finals. But Andrew, Newcastle's director of rugby, insists: "We're not going to make the same mistake as Wasps. The Bees deserved that win and we'll be treating them with respect. We'll prepare for this game as we would against any Premiership side."

Of the Newcastle line-up which defeated London Irish in the quarter-finals, wing Epi Taione and hooker Matt Thompson are injured, so Michael Stephenson and Nick Makin take over. Joe Shaw replaces Daryl Lilley at full-back.

"We've got a chance and we've prepared well," said Bees' director of rugby Phil Maynard, who has named the side that started against Wasps. "But in light of the strength and power that Newcastle can field, it's unlikely we'll win again. But you can never say never in a cup game."

Connacht ran in four second-half tries as they came from behind to beat Leinster 35-24 in a mid-table Celtic League clash in Galway. Mark Lacey, who touched down twice, John O'Sullivan and Andrew Farley set the seal on the Parker Pen Cup semi-finalists' victory over their higher ranked neighbours.

Worcester extended their lead in National League One to 19 points with a 38-13 home success over Plymouth Albion, during which the Scotland full-back Ben Hinshelwood scored two of their six tries.

In the Super 12, the Sharks staged a thrilling comeback to pip Otago Highlanders 36-35 in Dunedin. Northern Bulls eclipsed ACT Brumbies 32-21 in Pretoria, Queensland Reds ambushed Auckland Blues 20-3 in Brisbane and Hurricanes saw off the Golden Cats 42-25 in Wellington.

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