Posted on February 23 2017
A bright start at Kingston Park came crashing down as a Pacific Island inspired Newcastle blitzed the Saints in the second half, scoring seven times in a relentless Aviva Premiership bout.
The visitors went 14-0 to the good after just six minutes, Ken Pisi and Jamie Gibson with the well crafted tries and Harry Mallinder adding a third later in an impressive first half.
That, however, wasn't enough to prevent Newcastle clinging onto their coattails and Tan Takulua completed a hat-trick in an unbelievable start to the second half from the home side, four tries in 17 minutes putting the game beyond Saints and leaving them with just a solitary point from Mikey Haywood's try bonus effort.
It had all begun so well. Teimana Harrison set the tone with a brutal carry from kick off and after the pack picked up where he left off, the backs put pace on the ball. Ben Foden straightened his line and drew in the last man to put Pisi over for the perfect start.
After Stephen Myler converted, it was about to get better, too. Again Harrison returned the restart with interest and again Foden put Newcastle on the back foot, this time with a clever chip. Ace Tuala was denied at close quarters after a quick tap penalty, but Saints kept it alive and Gibson crashed through for his third try in as many games.
Takulua and Stephen Myler exchanged penalties, but Falcons returned with vigour and the Falcons scrum-half burrowed over after sustained pressure on the Saints’ line.
The visitors continued to look sharp going the other way, however, and when a maul set up a good position on the home 22, Mallinder fired a long pass out wide, rejoining the move to score after some brilliant handling from the Saints’ Samoan pair of Tuala and Pisi.
The Islanders were catching the eye for both sides, Sinoti Sinoti and Niki Goneva seeing plenty of ball for the Falcons and it was the latter whose back of the hand pass put Sean Robinson into the corner after a bullish carry from Jon Welsh.
It was momentum that would resume after the interval, Falcons going one better than the Saints' start to the match with a blistering opening five minutes.
Rob Vickers and Takulua swept the hosts into the lead, Juan Pablo Socino and Sinoti Sinoti providing breaks for the highlights reel in the respective build ups and gifting Newcastle a bonus point with little over 45 minutes on the clock.
The lead grew when Sinoti again slipped tacklers and Takulua galloped over to complete his hat-trick. With Saints minds looking scrambled, Kyle Cooper bagged number six, twice getting his hands on the ball to further raise the noise inside Kingston Park.
There was still plenty of time left on the clock and Saints had hope when Nafi Tuitavake cut apart a tired looking home defence to earn a penalty and eventually a try for Haywood. But after dozens of Saints phases racked up in a draining passage of play, possession was lost and Falcons went up the other end to kill things off once and for all, a slow building maul eventually creeping over for Mark Wilson to ground.
2mins SAINTS Try K Pisi Con Myler 0-7
6mins SAINTS Try Gibson Con Myler 10-4
12mins FALCONS Pen Takulua 3-14
15mins SAINTS Pen Myler 3-17
19mins FALCONS Try & Con Takulua 10-17
28mins SAINTS Try Mallinder Con Myler 10-24
35mins FALCONS Try Robinson 15-24
HALF-TIME FALCONS 15-24 SAINTS
42mins FALCONS Try Vickers Con Takulua 22-24
45mins FALCONS Try Takulua 27-24
52mins FALCONS Try Takulua 32-24
59mins FALCONS Try Cooper Con Takulua 39-24
67mins SAINTS Try Haywood 39-31
77mins FALCONS Try Wilson Con Takulua 46-31
Tait; Goneva, Waldouck, Juan Pablo Socino, Sinoti; Hodgson, Takulua; Vickers, Cooper, Welsh, Green, Robinson, Wilson, Welch (capt), Latu
Lawson, Harris, Wilson, Fonua, Olmstead, Egerton, Delany, Watson
Tuala; K Pisi, Tuitavake, Mallinder, Foden (capt); Myler, Groom; A Waller, Haywood, Brookes, Ratuniyarawa, Day, Gibson, Clark, Harrison
Clare, E Waller, Hill, Paterson, Nutley, Dickson, Hutchinson, Estelles