Newcastle and Wasps put on a five-star thriller at Kingston Park yesterday, which was decided by a penalty from the home side's Dave Walder with the last kick of the game.
Either side could have won - neither side really deserved to - but the Falcons will feel a whole lot better for securing a second Premiership win of the season.
Ian McGeechan, Wasps' director of rugby, had some words of sympathy for the flanker Tom Rees, who conceded the deciding penalty for not rolling away at the tackle, 35 metres out and in front of the posts. "The poor lad is inconsolable, but I don't think it was a penalty," said McGeechan. "But in a game like this, in conditions like these, you always feel vulnerable if you're playing at the wrong end of the field. We got ourselves into a winning position but didn't nail it. Dave Walder did."
On a soaked pitch, standing, never mind handling, was nigh-impossible. But with Lawrence Dallaglio leading by example and Rees not far from his shoulder, Wasps appeared to have things under control when Jeremy Staunton capitalised on Eoin Reddan's chip, which Mathew Tait knocked on. Mark van Gisbergen's conversion and a penalty made it 15-7 to Wasps; their first try coming when Mike McCarthy missed Van Gisbergen, who put Paul Sackey across.
McCarthy claimed the Falcons' first try and in a frenetic finish Jamie Noon got a second. Matt Burke converted both, though Walder stole the final act.
After the game, Newcastle's wing Tom May was taken to hospital with a suspected broken ankle.
Newcastle: Tries McCarthy, Noon; Conversions Burke 2; Penalty Walder. Wasps: Tries Sackey, Staunton; Conversion Van Gisbergen; Penalty Van Gisbergen.
Newcastle: M Burke (capt); T May (L Dickson, 51; O Finegan, 63), J Noon, M Mayerhofler, M Tait; T Flood (D Walder, 51), J Grindal; M Ward (D Wilson, 40-56), A Long (M Thompson, 58), R Morris, A Perry (A Buist, 72), G Parling, M McCarthy, C Harris, J Smithson (B Woods, 51).
Wasps: M van Gisbergen; P Sackey, A Erinle, S Abbott, R Hoadley; J Staunton (A King, 67), E Reddan; T Payne, B Gotting (J Ward, 7), J Dawson, G Skivington, R Birkett, J Hart, T Rees, L Dallaglio (capt).
Referee: D Rose (Warwickshire).Reuse content