Wanderers win again as Falcons are flayed at Franklin's Gardens

James Grayson came off the bench to kick a couple of conversions (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
James Grayson came off the bench to kick a couple of conversions (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

The Wanderers made it five bonus-point wins from as many matches this season as they put Newcastle Falcons to the sword in impressive fashion at Franklin's Gardens.

Tries from Ken Pisi, Ben Nutley, George Furbank and Rory Hutchinson earned the champions a comprehensive victory in the Prem Rugby A League.

Newcastle had sent a strong second string to the Gardens, with the likes of Opeti Fonua and Sinoti Sinoti starting for the Falcons, who had won both of their matches with bonus points.

But they were no match for a Wanderers side that included the likes of Stephen Myler, who kicked seven points, Paul Hill and David Ribbans.

The hosts got off to a flying start as Samoan wing Pisi latched on to a kick ahead from Furbank and scored.

Myler slotted the conversion and the Falcons then started to find their feet, keeping hold of the ball and forcing Saints to hold out on their own line.

Newcastle were made to pay for not converting their field position as Myler landed a penalty to extend his team's lead to 10 points.

The Wanderers were playing with real intensity, with the likes of Hill and Ben Nutley carrying well, and centre Tom Stephenson and Hutchinson looking lively.

It wasn't long before Nutley was etching his name on the scoresheet as he superbly sidestepped Newcastle scrum-half Ruaridh Dawson before sauntering over the line.

Myler again added the extras to make it 17-0, putting his team in total command at half-time.

Myler, Stephenson, Hill and Reece Marshall were all replaced at the break, with a couple of those men possibly in contention to face Wasps at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.

There were few try-scoring chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half as both sides probed for openings.

But Newcastle did eventually find their way to the line as hooker Ben Sowrey showed good power to muscle his way through a couple of Wanderers players.

Former Saints fly-half Joel Hodgson added the conversion to narrow the gap to 10 points with 25 minutes of the match remaining.

But it didn't take long for the Wanderers to hit back as Furbank showed good awareness to intercept a Josh Matavesi pass and the full-back raced from inside his own half to score.

James Grayson, on for Myler at half-time, added the extras and the Wanderers had their 17-point lead back.

And they soon had their bonus-point score as lovely interplay between Nutley and Hutchinson resulted in the former sending the latter over for the try.

Grayson again converted to put the icing on the Wanderers cake.

Wanderers: Furbank; Estelles, Hutchinson, Stephenson (Strachan 40), Pisi (Kessell 69); Myler (Grayson 40), Mitchell; Ma'afu (Beesley 60), Marshall (Clare 40), Hill (Trinder 40); Craig, Moon; Ribbans (Ryan 47), Nutley (Allman 66), Dickinson (c).

Newcastle Falcons: Connon; Cowell, Agulla, Matavesi, Sinoti Sinoti (C Wilson 51); Hodgson (Kelemeti 65), Dawson; Brocklebank, Sowrey (Blamire 65), S Wilson (Ferreira 40 (Bergmanas 66)); Olmstead, Young (Montgomery 69); Hogg (c), Uzokwe, Fonua (Davidson 51).

Referee: Dean Richards