Match preview: Rugby Calvisano v Newcastle Falcons

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Saturday 14 December 2013 – 1.30pm (UK time)

Peroni Stadium, Calvisano

Amlin Challenge Cup Pool 3 #4

The Falcons are heading to Italy this weekend looking to keep alive hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup, and also to avoid becoming only the second English side to lose away to Calvisano.

The dubious honour of being the Italian side’s only English conquest at home belongs to Leeds, who lost 27-26 in the 2007/08 Challenge Cup. Bristol and Bath have both won away to Calvisano in this competition, while our hosts have lost all eight Heineken Cup home games against English sides. Unluckily, in their first four seasons in the elite the Lombardians were drawn against Wasps twice and Leicester thrice.

English sides at Calvisano:

1999/00 Bristol L9-26 (Challenge Cup)

2001/02 Leicester L3-37 (Heineken Cup)

2002/03 Leicester L22-40 (Heineken Cup)

2003/04 Wasps L33-52 (Heineken Cup)

2004/05 Wasps L22-31 (Heineken Cup)

2004/05 Leicester L10-62 (Heineken Cup)

2005/06 Leeds L0-20 (Heineken Cup)

2006/07 Sale L11-29 (Heineken Cup)

2007/08 Leeds W27-26 (Challenge Cup)

2008/09 Gloucester L7-40 (Heineken Cup)

2012/13 Bath L5-39 (Challenge Cup)

That 33-52 against Wasps must have been a heck of a game.

The Falcons have done rather better in booted country, losing twice at Treviso back in the early noughties but winning every visit since then.

 

Newcastle in Italy (all Challenge Cup):

2000/01 Treviso L15-28

2002/03 Treviso L8-27

2005/06 L’Aquila W86-0

2006/07 Petrarca Padova W50-6

2008/09 Overmach Parma W20-14

2009/10 Petrarca Padova W29-27

2011/12 Petrarca Padova W34-3

 

Adam Powell, Scott Lawson and Richard Mayhew are back in the team with captain Will Welch for tomorrow. Welch is teamed up with Andy Saull for the first time, and Rob Vickers and Alex Tait also return to the starting team. No sign of Joel Hodgson though:

Falcons: 15 Noah Cato, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Zach Kibirige,10 Phil Godman,9 Warren Fury, 1 Rob Vickers, 2 Scott Lawson, 3 Scott Wilson, 4 Sean Tomes, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 6 Will Welch (c), 7 Andy Saull, 8 Richard Mayhew.

Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Carlo del Fava, 20 James Fitzpatrick, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Ryan Shortland.

 

With Brive taking on Bucharest at home and things all square at the moment at the top of Pool 3 with we and the Frenchies on ten points apiece, it’s all to play for. However, Brive could only manage a draw at the Peroni Stadium to tomorrow will not be an easy task for the Falcons. Hopefully last week’s 37-15 win over Calvisano at Kingston Park will be a boost to the confidence. A similar result away would be quite welcome.

 

(Follow The South Stand Choir on Twitter: @SouthStandChoir)

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