Premiership: Newcastle Falcons 18-20 Wasps – Visitors come from behind to win

Premiership: Newcastle Falcons 18-20 Wasps – Visitors come from behind to win

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Newcastle v Wasps
Wasps scrum-half Sam Wolstenholme (left) helped start their second-half resurgence
Newcastle (18) 18
Tries: Fuser, Wacokecoke Con: Hodgson Pens: Hodgson 2
Wasps (6) 20
Tries: Shields, West Cons: Gopperth 2 Pens: Gopperth 2

Wasps mounted a second-half comeback to beat Newcastle and move level on points with the Falcons in eighth.

Tries from Marco Fuser and George Wacokecoke helped Newcastle take an 18-6 lead at the break.

But Wasps came out of the blocks with intent in the second half as Brad Shields and Tom West went over from close range to turn it around.

Newcastle second row Greg Peterson and scrum-half Michael Young were both sin-binned to aid Wasps’ turnaround.

Last season’s runners-up Wasps made it seven unbeaten visits to Kingston Park to record just their second win in five matches.

Both sides are now level on 30 points from 14 games, five points off the top six.

Wasps managed to avoid losing three consecutive away matches for the first time since November 2019.

But that looked a tough ask in the first half as first Fuser was adjudged to have dotted down under a rolling maul and then former Falcon Jimmy Gopperth saw his attempted crossfield kick intercepted by full-back Tom Penny, who raced clear from halfway before unselfishly passing inside for Wacokecoke to cross.

Perhaps the biggest talking point of the first half involved Wasps winger Josh Bassett and opposite number Mateo Carreras.

As the pair untangled from a tackle, Carreras appeared to gouge Bassett’s left eye. He escaped any punishment from the on-field officials despite Bassett drawing immediate attention to an injury.

Wasps were clearly rattled and came out firing from the restart. After concerted pressure, England international Shields crashed over from the base of a ruck to reduce the deficit.

Alfie Barbeary was denied a try to level the scores soon after when replays of his attempt to burrow over proved inconclusive.

But Newcastle’s indiscipline mounted as the pressure continued with Peterson and Young both sin-binned within a minute for cynical indiscretions close to their own line.

Wasps eventually got their reward with a two-man advantage as replacement prop West scored by the post to claim their second try.

Gopperth converted to make it 20-18 and with almost 20 minutes to play that proved the decisive score.

Newcastle: Penny; Carreras, Wacokecoke, Burrell, Stevenson; Hodgson, Young (c); Davison, McGuigan, Mulipola, Peterson, Fuser, Robinson, Welch, Van der Walt.

Replacements: Blamire, Cooper, Tampin, Montgomery, Chick, Schreuder, Connon, Tait.

Sin-bin: Peterson (57 mins), Young (58 mins).

Wasps: Miller; Kibirige, Fekitoa, Le Bourgeois, Bassett; Gopperth, Wolstenholme; Harris, Taylor, Toomaga-Allen, Launchbury (c), Rowlands, Shields, Young, Vailanu.

Replacements: Oghre, West, Owlett, Vukasinovic, Barbeary, Vellacott, Atkinson, Minozzi.

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe.

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