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Aviva Premiership: Newcastle fight their way past Sale
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Newcastle recorded their first victory since returning to the Aviva Premiership after eking out a 15-14 success over Sale at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The Falcons responded impressively to being overpowered 21-0 in torrential rain at home to Bath last week to shock the Sharks, who were surprise 22-16 winners at Gloucester last time out.
The visitors' points all came from penalties, four by former Scotland fly-half Phil Godman and the clincher from his replacement Rory Clegg.
Sale captain Dan Braid scored the game's only try 10 minutes before half-time but fly-half Nick Macleod, preferred again to Danny Cipriani, rued missing the conversion and two penalties.
Macleod failed to capitalise on early pressure when his right-sided penalty attempt came back off the left upright, but he made no mistake from the left of the sticks a few minutes later.
Sale twice stole line-outs in the Newcastle half but could not take advantage. Indeed, the Falcons won two penalties down the right and from the second Godman levelled with a long-range kick.
But the Sharks responded positively and another Macleod penalty, from a similar position to that which hit the post, restored their lead at 6-3.
Sale attacked again and, after Newcastle flanker Dom Barrow was sin-binned, they kicked to the right corner and from the line-out opposite number Braid dived over to score.
The Falcons rallied quickly, Godman putting over a penalty from right in front as Barrow returned. A further foray into Sale territory saw Godman add three more from the left to make it 11-9 at half-time.
Newcastle picked up from where they left off and Godman's penalty from the right put them ahead for the first time, but Macleod responded in kind to put the home side in front again.
The Falcons were dominating at the scrum, which gave them a penalty just to the right of the posts with 13 minutes to go and Clegg made no mistake.
Sale then threw everything they had at Newcastle, but the visitors were up to the task.
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com