A wonderful penalty from halfway by Toby Flood a minute from time secured an unlikely though thoroughly deserved victory for Newcastle at Kingston Park. It looked as if Leicester would win with their superior pack and the kicking of Andy Goode, who collected 21 points, but Newcastle recovered from 16-6 down at the break and won a dramatic second half 25-13.
Early in the first half, Flood rounded the scrum and drilled the ball to the left touchline. Mark Mayerhofler then made it to the Leicester posts, but spilled the ball over the line.
After six minutes the Tigers had hardly had their hands on the ball and were becoming rattled. Alex Moreno and Martin Corry were lectured by the referee for punching Matt Thompson, but Flood missed a long penalty attempt. When it came to Goode's turn, after James Grindal held on, he made no mistake.
This spurred Leicester, only for Corry to lose the ball, but Goode made the most of Grindal's subsequent drop to hack on for a soft try. The fly-half converted to put Leicester 10-0 up. Goode and Flood exchanged penalties before Newcastle made an outstanding effort to open up the game, though Russell Winter wrecked it with yet another dropped pass. Goode and Flood exchanged penalties to end the half.
The Leicester lock James Hamilton was sent to the sin bin early in the second half and from a ruck, Flood danced over. He converted, but Ben Woods was shown a yellow card for killing the ball so Newcastle's advantage was lost.
Leon Lloyd, enjoying his 150th Premiership game, scored a try at the posts and Goode converted, before Flood was unable to add the extra points to Rudd's smart try. The winger grabbed his second, though, when Johne Murphy failed to gather a wicked kick ahead and the Newcastle winger fell on the ball. Flood converted, before adding a penalty to give the Falcons the lead for the first time at 28-26.
With Goode having been replaced by Scott Bemand, Sam Vesty nailed a penalty. Would that be enough, at 29-28? No. Flood rifled over a penalty from wide out on halfway. What a finish.
Newcastle: Tries Flood, Rudd 2; Conversions Flood 2; Penalties Flood 4. Leicester: Tries Goode, Lloyd; Conversions Goode 2; Penalties Goode 4, Vesty.
Newcastle: A Elliott (L Crichton, 62); T May, M Tait, M Mayerhofler, J Rudd; T Flood, J Grindal (L Dixon, 62); J McDonnell (capt), M Thompson, M Ward, M Sorenson, J Oakes, G Parling (B Wilson, 71), B Woods, R Winter.
Leicester: J Murphy (A Tuilagi, 72); L Lloyd, O Smith, S Vesty, S Rabeni (D Gibson, 46); A Goode (S Bemand, 72), H Ellis; A Moreno (J White, 46), G Chuter, M Castrogiovanni, L Cullen, J Hamilton (B Kay, 55), B Deacon (S Jennings, 72), L Moody, M Corry (capt).
Referee: S Davey (Sussex).Reuse content