Young adds the finishing touch to Newcastle's overdue resurgence

Newcastle 33 Harlequins 18

To say that Newcastle have finally awoken to their seriousness of their plight is to understate the matter. A team that could not win for three months has now tasted victory twice within the space of six days.

First relegation rivals Leeds Carnegie were clinically dispatched at Headingley and now this: a performance dripping with belief, desire and a willingness to run the ball at every opportunity.

Newcastle seem to have rediscovered their appetite for the game, with second-half tries from Alex Gray, Luke Fielden and Micky Young just reward for their bold approach.

Two weeks ago Alan Tait's men were humiliated on home soil by the Exeter and looked too bad to stay up. Now they look too good to go down. "People say you've got to hit rock-bottom before you start looking up," Tait, the head coach, said. "That Exeter defeat definitely was rock-bottom for me, but the boys knew how I felt and they dug deep against Leeds and again tonight."

Conor O'Shea, the Harlequins director of rugby, was forced to concede a top-four finish is now an increasingly distant prospect. "We knew how pivotal that game was to our top-four hopes but our set-piece didn't function and we were beaten by the better side," he said.

Quins had led in the third minute when an attack that covered countless phases culminated in Rory Clegg and Mike Brown combining to send Williams over in the right corner. Clegg, the erstwhile Newcastle No 10, added the extras.

The Falcons gradually warmed to their task. Jimmy Gopperth's penalty got the hosts off the mark before kicking two more penalties to sandwich one from Clegg as both sides relished the battle up front. A second penalty from Clegg restored Harlequins' lead after the resumption, but Newcastle fashioned a splendid response which harvested two tries in quick succession from Gray and Fielden.

Harlequins replied through through Brown but Young beavered his way over and Gopperth booted his seventh goal to give Newcastle a handsome victory.

Now these sides must do it all again in the LV= Cup semi-final at the Stoop next Friday.

Newcastle: Tries Gray, Fielden, Young; Conversions Gopperth 3; Penalties Gopperth 4. Harlequins: Tries Williams, Brown; Conversion Clegg; Penalties Clegg 2.

Newcastle: J Manning (T Tu'ipulotu, 33); L Fielden (T Catterick, 68), L Eves, J Fitzpatrick, A Tait; J Gopperth, M Young; J Golding (G Shiells, 66), M Thompson, E Murray (K Brookes, 68); J Hudson (capt), A Van der Heijden; T Swinson, B Wilson (G Shiells, 20, B Wilson 29, A Gray 50), A Hogg.

Harlequins M Brown; T Williams, U Monye (R Chisholm, 69), J Turner-Hall (T Casson, 63), O Lindsay-Hague; R Clegg, D Moore; C Jones (C Brooker, 50), J Gray (J Marler, 50), J Johnston (M Lambert, 50); O Kohn (T Vallejos, 57), P Browne; M Fa'asavalu (M Lambert, 16), W Skinner, C Robshaw (capt).

Referee A Small (RFU)

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'