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Error earns Tigers draw
Leicester 16-16 Newcastle
Guinness Premiership, Welford Road, Friday October 14
An error by the touch judges earned Leicester a 16-16 draw against Newcastle after a fiery clash at Welford Road that featured a string of injuries, two sin-binnings and red cards for Julian White and Andy Perry.
But the most controversial moment of the contest came after 46 minutes when Andy Goode's conversion attempt flew wide of the left-hand upright and the touch judges raised their flags.
The Falcons would have settled for a point after February's 83-10 mauling by the Tigers on the same venue, but are entitled to feel harshly done by.
In a game which had virtually everything - apart from any sustained spell of quality rugby - there was also an injury scare for Jonny Wilkinson, who received lengthy treatment after a marginally late hit from Leicester scrum-half Harry Ellis.
Wilkinson continued for the rest of the match but had to hand the kicking duties over to full-back Matt Burke - who missed with a late long range penalty from in front of the posts that the former England fly-half would surely have slotted.
As early as the fourth minute Wilkinson demonstrated his kicking skills, dropping a goal with the same right foot that won the World Cup after a penalty attempt rebounded off the posts.
Andy Goode replied with two penalties for Leicester, although Wilkinson had levelled the scores at 6-6 before taking a powerful tackle from Ellis as he cleared his lines.
Referee Tony Spreadbury awarded a penalty where the ball went out and Burke put Newcastle ahead.
Wilkinson stayed on, but a groggy Graham Rowntree went off after the veteran prop took a blow to the head from Andy Perry.
On 35 minutes Goode was yellow carded for an elbow to - who else? - Wilkinson and moments later Spreadbury had the same card out for Andy Long for playing the ball on the ground.
Tempers were becoming increasingly frayed and just a minute later Julian White and Perry were sent off following a mass brawl.
With more than 15 minutes of interruptions, Burke mised a penalty attempt from in front on the stroke of half time and the visitors went in 9-6 ahead.
Leicester started the second half fast, forcing Newcastle into 23 tackles in the first five minutes before Ollie Smith went over from close range, only for the video referee to rule he was held up.
A minute later leicester got the try their presure deserved as Dan Hipkiss held off a tackle from Tom May and James Hamilton scooped up the ball and placed it over the try line. There was a strong suspicion of a knock-on, but this time Spreadbury decided against going to the video ref.
Goode aded the extras - or rather he didn't - and following a Goode penalty that did split the uprights, Leicester led 16-9.
Newcastle finally started to show some invention in the backs in the final quarter and Jamie Noone bombed a chance to go over beneath the sticks after Burke's beak.
On 69 minutes a flowing move in the backs ended in Mike McCarthy's cut-out pass for Robbie Morris to side-step inside and score in the corner.
Burke's touchline conversion levelled the scores and both sides had chances to win it late on, Goode screwing a drop-goal attempt wide and Burke hooking a penalty shot from just inside the Leicester half.
A draw was probably a fair result, but when they see the video of Goode's 'conversion', Newcastle are unlikely to agree.
Leicester: (6) 16
Pens: Goode 3
Newcastle: (9) 16
Pens: Wilkinson, Burke
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|Sunday 21st December|
|14:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|Friday 26th December|
|15:00||London Irish vs London Welsh|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:00||Bath vs Exeter|
|14:00||Sale vs Leicester|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Saracens|
|16:30||Harlequins vs Northampton|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:30||Gloucester vs Wasps|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:45||Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|16:30||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:00||Leicester Tigers vs Bath|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|15:00||Bath vs Wasps|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Exeter|
|Saturday 14th February|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|15:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle Falcons|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale Sharks 18 - 11 Exeter|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Newcastle Falcons 13 - 18 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 14 - 43 Northampton|
|London Irish 9 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Exeter 27 - 19 Saracens|
|Leicester Tigers 18 - 16 Wasps|
|Friday 28th November|
|Bath 25 - 6 Harlequins|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 24 - 31 Northampton|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|London Irish 23 - 33 Bath|
|Exeter 31 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 21st November|
|Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 16th November|
|Wasps 71 - 7 London Welsh|
|Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 Saracens|
|Saturday 15th November|
|Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London Irish|
|Friday 14th November|
|Gloucester 15 - 22 Harlequins|
|Northampton 18 - 24 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com