Match preview: Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints

st-james-less

Sunday 21 September 2014 – 2.00pm

Kingston Park, Newcastle

Aviva Premiership #3

 

This Sunday the Falcons have one last chance to avoid reaching eleven months without a league win, but there would be no better way to end an eighteen-game losing run than by beating the current champions at home.

 

Northampton come to Kingston Park on Sunday having had a mixed start to the season, destroying Gloucester 53-6 with eight tries on the opening night before being swatted 20-16 by Wasps at Adams Park on Sunday.

 

Tries by Ashley Johnson, who was so destructive against the Falcons last Christmas, and Tom Varndell along with Andy Goode and Ruaridh Jackson’s boots condemned the champions to their first defeat of the season, three Stephen Myler penalties and a conversion of Ben Foden’s try leaving the Saints with just a bonus point.

 

Sunday will see Welsh star George North make his first appearance at KP, but he is just one of a multitude of stars at Jim Mallinder’s disposal. Alongside North in the backs squad are the flying Ben Foden and George and Ken Pisi, barnstorming England centre Luther Burrell, and former Falcon Lee Dickson, as well as academy products James Wilson and Jamie Elliott.

 

In the forwards, Alex Corbisiero will be looking to make up for lost time after injury prevented him building on a fantastic Lions tour last year, while Courtney Lawes, Dylan Harley and Tom Wood should also be in England’s World Cup squad in a year’s time.

 

This game last season, like our previous three meetings with the Saints at KP, ended in a win for the Midlanders, though a late try by Noah Cato, converted by new Saints recruit Joel Hodgson, gave us a bonus point. Rory Clegg also kicked three penalties for the Falcons, while the try-scorers for Phil Dowson’s team were Elliott (two) and Tom Stephenson, Myler adding two conversions and a penalty.

 

Saints in Newcastle:

03/12/1961      North Road                 Club Match                 W9-6

01/02/1986      North Road                 Cup 3rd round              D6-6

31/03/1990      Percy Park                   Division 2                    L15-22

01/09/1991      Kingston Park             Club Match                 W32-12

11/12/1993      Kingston Park             Division 1                    L8-28

21/10/1995      Kingston Park             Division 2                    L9-52

08/10/1997      Kingston Park             Premiership 1              W37-12

15/11/1998      Kingston Park             Premiership 1              W45-35

21/05/2000      Kingston Park             Premiership 1              L23-32

20/08/2000      Kingston Park             Premiership                 W27-21

02/12/2001      Kingston Park             Premiership                 L13-28

20/04/2003      Kingston Park             Premiership                 W22-20

28/12/2003      Kingston Park             Premiership                 W23-19

28/11/2004      Kingston Park             Premiership                 W27-16

26/03/2006      Kingston Park             Premiership                 L13-32

06/04/2007      Kingston Park             Premiership                 W16-7

14/09/2008      Kingston Park             Premiership                 W32-22

27/11/2009      Kingston Park             Premiership                 L8-28

15/04/2011      Kingston Park             Premiership                 L15-22

31/12/2011      Kingston Park             Premiership                 L14-32

23/02/2014      Kingston Park             Premiership                 L16-22

 

 

Alex Tuilagi will make his first start in a black shirt on Sunday, while Kieran Brookes returns at loosehead to allow Scott Wilson to make a first Premiership start. Josh Furno moves to the back row in place of Mark Wilson and Dom Barrow joins Calum Green in a beefy, former-Leeds engine room. Sinoti Sinoti is only fit enough for the bench after suffering an injury against London Irish.

 

Falcons team: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Alex Tuilagi, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 1 Kieran Brookes, 2 Scott Lawson, 3 Scott Wilson, 4 Calum Green, 5 Dom Barrow, 6 Josh Furno, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Ally Hogg.

 

Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19 Mark Wilson, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Gonzalo Tiesi, 23 Sinoti Sinoti.

 

 

The unbelievably strong Saints team: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Will Hooley, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 1 Alex Waller, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 4 Courtney Lawes, 5 Christian Day, 6 Calum Clark, 7 Tom Wood, 8 Samu Manoa.

 

Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 James Craig, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Dom Waldouck, 23 James Wilson.

 

 

 

 

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

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