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Irish too good for Falcons
England fly-half returns from injury to inspire Irish win
Fly-half Shane Geraghty was at the heart of London Irish's convincing 19-0 win over Newcastle at the Madejski Stadium.
Geraghty saw his World Cup hopes ruined by a hamstring injury, but he returned with great effect to help the Exiles get a first win of the season against a poor Falcons side.
The 21-year-old England man provided all the creative flair that Irish had been without in their opening day defeat against Harlequins.
Geraghty split the Newcastle defence for the break that led to prop Faan Rautenbach scoring the first of Irish's two tries, while Paul Hodgson grabbed the second.
After Jeremy Staunton had kicked the first of his two penalties, Geraghty side-stepped his way through the Newcastle defence in the 18th minute.
Staunton was stopped just short of the line, but the Irish pack was at close hand and prop Rautenbach eventually got over for the opening try.
Scrum-half Hodgson's 32nd-minute try was an opportunist effort, as he grabbed the ball from the base of the scrum and kicked over the head of opposite number James Grindal before diving on the bouncing ball.
Staunton kicked just two of five attempts but that mattered little as Newcastle, without the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Jamie Noon, Mathew Tait and Toby Flood struggled to muster any dangerous attacking moves.
Geraghty was brought off four minutes into the second half as part of director of rugby Brian Smith's plan to carefully manage the youngster's return from the injury he suffered at an England pre-World Cup training camp.
Any chance of the Falcons getting back into the game ended with centre Tom Dillon being sent to the sin-bin on 55 minutes for killing the ball in a ruck.
Staunton did kick that penalty to make it 19-0 and that was the end of the scoring as Irish wasted chances to extend their advantage further with some sloppy work.
They were easily good enough to get the victory though and Newcastle will need to show vast improvement to avoid another defeat.
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|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