newcastle falcoNs 20

glasgow 3

Newcastle underlined the value of pace with a confident display of running rugby at Kingston Park last night that proved too much for a Glasgow side which struggled to find form in their opening match of the season.

Against the likes of Dave Walder, Jamie Noon, and Michael Stephenson, the Glasgow backs finished second best in terms of attacking rugby but the trio of England tourists, playing behind a Newcastle pack that was much the stronger, also showed that they were equally capable in defence.

Glasgow's inability to threaten was, mercifully, changed when coach Richie Dixon brought on Andy Henderson, Rory Kerr, and James Craig midway in the second half. Henderson last night enhanced his growing reputation with a couple of midfield breaks.

''I thought that we managed to do what we've been working at in training, but unfortunately we didn't finish off the moves,'' admitted Dixon, who added: ''I was disappointed that we let in two scores.''

Dixon will also be disappointed that two of his key forwards, Jason White and Dave Hilton, were injured and as a result could be doubtful for Tuesday's game against Northampton at Hughenden.

From a Scotland point of view, there were good performances from Stuart Grimes, George Graham, and Andrew Mower, and sufficient from age-group caps Joe Pattison and Craig Hamilton to warrant continued interest.

Newcastle's first points came after just two minutes from a penalty by recently-capped England stand-off Dave Walder after debutant Graeme Kiddie had been caught in possession in the Glasgow 22 from an awkwardly bouncing kick. The Falcons threatened again with a powerful run from former rugby league star Inga Tuigamala, but the Samoan's progress was halted by a strong tackle from Jason White.

The Scotland cap, however, suffered a leg injury in for his troubles and was replaced by Steve Griffiths.

Glasgow went further behind when the accurate Walder goaled his second penalty.

When the Scots moved the ball wide from lineout possession by Griffiths, international centre James McLaren set up second-phase ball to ignite a secondary attack from which wing Ian McInroy came close to scoring. McLaren was again instrumental in another promising attack with a deftly placed kick ahead, but the move was extinguished by a crushing tackle on Gavin Scott by Tuigamala. Newcastle backs were ruled offside, leaving Tommy Hayes to kick a simple penalty goal.

Falcons again looked dangerous as right wing Liam Botham slipped his markers but the pass to Walder went astray. Glasgow, however, finished the first half strongly with a move that thrice involved Hayes and all but produced a try for Scott.

The Falcons, making three changes at half-time, made a roaring start to the second half but the Scots should have drawn level when Newcastle were penalised at the ruck but Hayes was wide with his kick. It was a costly chance missed.

Newcastle, having brought on Pat Lam, again showed their attacking skills with a counter move from a speculative kick ahead by Andy Nicol that ended with lock Hugh Vyvyan sending Tuigamala in for a try under the posts, leaving Walder with the simplest of conversions.

Newcastle struck once more as Richardson put Tuigamala into clear space with a perfectly timed pass. The ball was then moved to the right for Tongan flanker Epi Taione to gallop down the touchline through several despairing tackles to claim try No.2 for the Falcons. Richardson added the conversion to put Newcastle ahead by 20-3.

The seemingly impregnable lead was challenged twice, first with a break by Andy Henderson and a kick and chase to the line by Rory Kerr and then a break by James Craig.

Newcastle D Richardson; L Botham, J Noon, J Pattison, (G Maclure 57), I Tuigamala; D Walder (M Stephenson 59), G Armstrong; M Ward, (G Peel 40), M Howe (C Balshem 72), M Hurter (G Graham 40), S Grimes (C Hamilton 61), H Vyvyan, J Dunbar (E Taipone 60), R Arnold (captain), A Mower

Glasgow G Kiddie (R Kerr 70); J Steel,

J McLaren (A Henderson 65), I McInroy (J Craig 71); T Hayes, A Nicol (captain); D Hilton (G Sykes 68), G Scott (G Bulloch 78), L Harrison, C Stewart, J White (S Griffiths 10), G Simpson, J Petrie (R Reid 79), D Flockhart

Scoring sequence 3-0, 6-0, 6-3 (half-time); 13-3, 20-3

Scorers - Newcastle, Tries Tuigamala (53), Tainone (64), Cons Walder (53), Richardson (64). Pens Walder (2, 12) Glasgow Pen Hayes (30)

Referee D Pearson (Northumberland)