Revitalised Falcons surge past leaders

Newcastle 14 Leicester 10
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The Independent Online

Newcastle continued their resurgence to take a seventh win in eight games with an outstanding display as they brought Guinness Premiership leaders Leicester down to earth at Kingston Park. They held on after establishing a 14-0 half-time lead through a try from centre Tane Tu'ipulotu and nine points from the boot of fly-half Tom May, who enjoyed a superb match.

The Tigers got on the board through a Toby Flood penalty and grabbed a losing bonus point at the death as Ben Youngs capitalised on a chargedown to score. The game opened with both sides showing the confidence to go through the phases but it was the Falcons who took a 15th-minute lead when Jamie Noon made room to offload in midfield, allowing wing John Rudd to take the attack into the 22. The move ended with full-back Alex Tait putting Tu'ipulotu over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Newcastle's lead almost proved to be shortlived as May's loose pass was hacked through by opposite number Flood, but a superb piece of covering work from second row Geoff Parling snuffed out the danger. Fly-half May extended the lead by knocking over a 45-metre penalty before slamming over a drop goal from a similar distance and adding a further penalty in the shadows of half-time to make it 14-0.

Leicester started the second half with renewed vigour as they forced the Falcons into phase after phase of defence, with the home side conceding a penalty to allow Flood to get the Tigers up and running, but handling errors continued to cost them dear.

One such turnover saw Tu'ipulotu ghost through but the visitors got back well to deny Rudd in the corner, with more desperate defence needed to keep Tait out on the other flank.

The visitors tried to hit back but Ayoola Erinle looped a pass intended for a team-mate into touch after making a great break. The Tigers continued to dominate territory and possession in the final quarter but were frustrated by Steve Bates' side.

Newcastle: Tries Tu'ipulotu Penalties May (2), Drop goal May. Leicester: Tries Hemingway Penalty Flood Conversion Flood

Newcastle: Tait, Visser, Noon, Tu'ipulotu, Rudd, May, Charlton,Golding, Thompson, Hayman, Parling, Sorenson, Swinson, B. Wilson, Dowson. Replacements: Vickers, D. Wilson, Perry, Brown, Winter, Young, Miller.

Leicester: G. Murphy, Hamilton, Erinle, Mauger, Tuilagi, Flood, Ellis, Stankovich, Chuter, Castrogiovanni, L. Deacon, Kay, Croft, Woods, Corry. Replacements: Davies, Cole, Hemingway, Pienaar, Youngs, Vesty, J. Murphy.

Referee: Chris White (RFU)