Exiles overcome Falcons
Troubles worsen for Newcastle
By Rob Carragher. Last Updated: 16/11/08 6:26pm
Armitage: Scored the Exiles' second
London Irish secured a 24-8 victory over Newcastle Falcons, consigning the home side to a third consecutive defeat.
Newcastle had taken an early lead in the match, but tries from Richard Thorpe, Steffon Armitage and Declan Danaher saw off the Falcons' challenge.
The loss now leaves them just three points off the bottom of the Guinness Premiership with a record of five defeats in six matches.
The outlook had looked bright though as Brent Wilson began the scoring for the home side after just five minutes, exploiting a gap in the blindside to force his way over for the try.
However, the lead was short-lived. Within minutes Nick Kennedy had won a line-out ball ten metres from the Newcastle line and from there the London attack worked the play to Chris Hala'Ufia.
With the ball in his hands, the big Tongan powered to within yards of the posts before recycling to Thorpe, who burrowed through for the try.
Peter Hewat then added the extras to give the Exiles a two-point lead which he later stretched to five with a long-range penalty kick just before half-time.
But the game was looking scrappy and despite their lead, London Irish were not dominating play.
Newcastle cut the deficit back to two points in a dominant opening to the second half only to see any thoughts of a potential fightback soon quashed.
Exiles take control
London Irish were without three key players for the tie due to international commitments, but it was the brother of the missing England full-back Delon Armitage who would provide the decisive moment of the game.
Fatally, Newcastle saw their scrum overturned just eight metres out and, from the resulting move, replacement flanker Steffon Armitage stole in under the posts for Hewat to convert for 17-8.
Armitage was again involved ten minutes later, crashing through on the left to set up Seveali'i, whose raking pass picked out Declan Danaher for a try in the corner.
Hewat added the conversion to take the score to 24-8, but the Exiles couldn't manage to capture the bonus point in the final minutes - Shane Geraghty overthrowing as he looked to put in Seveali'i for an easy finish.