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Sale

  • Vakacegu, Ormsby,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson (5),
    Drop goals: Hodgson,
    Conversions: Hodgson,
30 - 32

Newcastle

  • Gopperth, Young,
    Penalty goals: Gopperth (6),
    Conversions: Gopperth (2),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 23rd Apr 2010
  • KO 19:45
  • Ground: Edgeley Park
  • Att: 9,336

Falcons safe as Sale falter

Newcastle staying up as Sale continue to struggle

By Rachel Griffiths   Last updated: 23rd April 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Falcons safe as Sale falter

Gopperth: Fine kicking display

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Jimmy Gopperth produced a fine display to help Newcastle defeat relegation rivals Sale and secure their place in next season's Guinness Premiership.

The Kiwi unleashed a superb kicking performance to lift Falcons to a 32-30 victory over the Sharks, adding to his earlier try and a score from Micky Young.

Despite claiming a losing bonus point, Sale are now teetering dangerously on the brink of relegation as they head into their final game of the season, with the potential for things to get even worse if Worcester win at Leeds on Sunday.

Replaced

Falcons captain Charlie Hayman failed a late fitness test and was replaced as skipper by Gopperth, who got things started for the visitors with two penalties in the first 12 minutes.

Newcastle were putting pressure on Sale's back line and Goppeth broke through in the 21st minute, finding the gap to touch down under the post, before adding the extras to put the visitors 13-0 ahead.

Sharks then pegged back the Falcons with a Charlie Hodgson penalty in the 25th minute before grabbing a try five minutes before the break.

The hosts played the ball neatly from right to left to allow Marika Vakacegu to go over in the corner, with fly-half Hodgson adding the conversion.

But Falcons had a nine-point lead going into half-time as Gopperth landed his third and fourth penalties of the night.

The 26-year-old struck again after restart, booting another three-pointer for the visitors before Hodgson pulled them back with three penalties in quick succession.

Sharks took control in the second half and a well-taken Hodgson drop goal in the 60th minute levelled the scores.

Newcastle were feeling the strain but outstanding efforts from the forwards allowed Micky Young to take advantage of weak Sharks defending and go over in the corner.

Sensational

Gopperth added to his sensational kicking display by successfully converting but Sharks came straight back as Hodgson scored a penalty from the restart.

Sale took the lead for the first time with just minutes remaining, with Kristian Ormsby bundling over in the corner.

But Hodgson fumbled the conversion to make for a dramatic finish as Gopperth reclaimed Falcons' lead, and the former's missed drop goal at the close allowed Falcons to wrap up the win and breathe a sigh of relief as their spot in the premiership was secured.

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 19th December
Aviva Premiership
19:45Sale Sharks vs Exeter
Saturday 20th December
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle Falcons
15:15Northampton vs Leicester Tigers
17:30Gloucester vs Bath
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Bath vs Exeter
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 28th December
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester

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