Home team Away Team

Newcastle

  • Tait, Shortland,
    Penalty goals: Gopperth (7),
31 - 24

Bedford


  • Penalty goals: Sharp (7),
    Drop goals: Sharp,

RFU Championship final: Newcastle seal return to Aviva Premiership

Last updated: 30th May 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Jimmy Gopperth Newcastle Falcons RFU Championship play off

Jimmy Gopperth: Kicked another 21 points to seal Newcastle's promotion

Newcastle Falcons celeb v Bedford Championship play-off final promotion to Premiership

Newcastle Falcons: Back in Premiership

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Video

Gallery

Also see

Tries from Ryan Shortland and Alex Tait in either half helped Newcastle Falcons beat Bedford Blues 31-24 at Kingston Park to seal a return to the Aviva Premiership at the first attempt.

Jimmy Gopperth notched all Newcastle's points in their 18-9 RFU Championship play-off final first leg win and kicked seven penalties in the return as Dean Richards' side won 49-33 on aggregate.

But Bedford made a real fist of it with Jake Sharp, one of six changes Mike Rayer made to the visitors' starting line-up from the first leg, kicking all their 24 points to make it nervous at times for the hosts.

Newcastle made one change to their starting line-up, with Rory Lawson replacing the injured Warren Fury at scrum-half, as Gopperth, in his last game for the Falcons before joining Leinster, carried on where he left off from the first leg by kicking a fifth minute penalty.

But Sharp responded with three penalties to leave Bedford - who had lost all four of their previous clashes with Newcastle this season - trailing by just three points on aggregate.

After the visitors were penalised for collapsing a scrum, Gopperth gratefully kicked his second penalty on the night and Shortland then went over in the corner in the 25th minute to give the Falcons some breathing space.

Sharp landed a drop goal to keep his side in touch before Gopperth and Sharp kicked two more penalties apiece to leave Bedford eight points adrift at the break.

Sharp continued his perfect kicking early in the second period to reduce the arrears to five points but Tait ran in Newcastle's second try to make it 22-21 on the night and ease the home fans' nerves.

While Sharp kicked another penalty, Gopperth landed three more penalties to make it 21 points on the night - and 39 personal points on aggregate - as the Falcons sealed their return to the Premiership.

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming The Champion'p Fixtures
TimeFixture
The Champion'p
Friday 7th November
The Championship
19:45Bristol vs Doncaster
19:45Worcester vs Bedford
20:00Yorkshire Carnegie vs Rotherham Titans
Saturday 8th November
12:00Moseley vs London Scottish
15:00Jersey vs Plymouth Albion
Sunday 9th November
15:00Cornish Pirates vs Nottingham
Friday 14th November
19:45Bedford vs Yorkshire Carnegie
19:45Jersey vs London Scottish
20:00Nottingham vs Bristol
Saturday 15th November
14:00Rotherham Titans vs Cornish Pirates
14:30Doncaster vs Moseley
17:00Plymouth Albion vs Worcester
Friday 21st November
19:45Worcester vs Jersey
20:00Yorkshire Carnegie vs Plymouth Albion
Saturday 22nd November
14:30Doncaster vs London Scottish
15:00Moseley vs Nottingham
Sunday 23rd November
15:00Cornish Pirates vs Bedford
15:00Bristol vs Rotherham Titans
Saturday 20th December
14:30Jersey vs Yorkshire Carnegie
15:00London Scottish vs Worcester
Sunday 21st December
15:00Nottingham vs Doncaster
Friday 26th December
14:00Rotherham Titans vs Moseley
15:00Bedford vs Bristol
Saturday 27th December
14:30Yorkshire Carnegie vs Worcester
15:00Plymouth Albion vs Cornish Pirates

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com