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|Home team||Away Team|
|30 - 32||
- 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
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.
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.
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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|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale Sharks|
|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 Falcons vs Leicester Tigers|
|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|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 26th April|
|14:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Saturday 9th May|
|14:00||Sale vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Wasps 32 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Exeter 16 - 6 Bath|
|Saracens 22 - 17 Newcastle Falcons|
|Leicester Tigers 28 - 8 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 12 - 50 London Irish|
|Friday 27th February|
|Northampton 17 - 13 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|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com