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Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Saturday, 9 April 2011 17:26 UK

Newcastle 29-30 Leeds

Newcastle (20) 29
Tries: Young, Manning Cons: Gopperth 2 Pens: Gopperth 5
Leeds (14) 30
Tries: Thompson, Wackett, Hardy Cons: Jarvis 3 Pens: Jarvis Drop-goals: Jarvis 2

Gareth Hardy
Gareth Hardy's try gave Leeds hope of a first Premiership win on the road this seson

Leeds fly-half Adrian Jarvis hit a last-minute drop-goal to lift his side off the bottom of the Premiership with a 30-29 victory over Newcastle.

Newcastle took a first-half lead through Micky Young and Jeremy Manning tries before Leeds hit back through Steve Thompson and Peter Wackett.

But Leeds took the lead in the second half through Gareth Hardy's try.

Despite 19 points from Jimmy Gopperth it was his opposite number who kicked the vital score in a nailbiting finish.

The result means Falcons change places with their opponents and fall to the foot of the Premiership for the first time since March 2003.

Leeds started the game well and retained possession but the first chance came from a sweeping Falcons move to the right wing where Luke Fielden received the ball but he could not control his chip kick to score on nine minutes.

Both sides showed signs of early nerves as passes were spilled and touch-kicks missed.

Gopperth kicked the opening points after Leeds were penalised for not using their arms in the tackle and with a quarter of an hour gone Manning looked like he had spurned a good chance out wide when he failed to find Fielden for a certain score.

But the pack recycled the ball back and Young reacted quickly to claim the opening try.

Jarvis kicked a great penalty to the corner and Leeds eventually rumbled onto Falcon's line and Thompson touched down before Jarvis added the conversion.

Gopperth's boot put his team 13-7 ahead with 10 minutes of the half remaining before Manning, who scored when the two sides met at Headingley, went over in the left corner after Young cleverly spotted Falcons' switch left.

Newcastle's fly-half struck a sweet conversion to give his side a 13-point lead with seven minutes of the half remaining.

Jarvis saw a shot at goal rebound off the post and then spurned a certain three points with the clock run down at half-time.

Luther Burrell went for the line and Newcastle won a penalty but rather than sending the ball into touch Newcastle punted it downfield and Leeds ran the ball back for Wackett to score.

Jarvis's kick made it 20-14 at the break.

The Leeds stand-off put them on the front foot early in the second half with an excellent long-range touch finder to the corner and then landed a penalty to reduce Falcons lead to three points.

The hosts lost Young in the opening minutes of the half, replaced by Chris Pilgrim.

Leeds finally took the lead after an extended period of pressure when Hardy powered over before Jarvis guided the ball between the posts for the extras.

The visitors now had their tails up and injected pace into their game at every opportunity.

With 20 minutes remaining Hendre Fourie entered a ruck from the side and Gopperth pulled the score back to 24-23.

The hosts began to gain ascendency as the tried to move the ball wide and test Leeds' defence.

Gopperth struck another penalty from 23 metres out after a collapsed scrum and put his side two points infront.

Leeds squandered a great chance when Mathie popped up a pass he did not need to make with just eight minutes left but the pressure built and Jarvis eventually stroked home a drop-goal to give Carnegie a one-point lead.

But with four minutes remaining, Fourie was penalised on his own 10-metre line and Gopperth steered home the penalty.

With the tension mounting, Leeds charged once more and steered their drives to within striking distance for Jarvis who then struck a drop-goal that crept over the bar.

The kick gave Leeds their first win away from home this season and means they are off the bottom of the table for the first time since September.

But Newcastle have a game in hand and head coach Neil Back will be well aware that a second successive great escape is far from complete.


Leeds head coach Neil Back:
"I'm happy for the whole squad but I'm really happy for Adrian [Jarvis].

"He's come into the squad late and he has done really well for us. He's controlling things really well on the field and he's been a real pro and he did the business for us when it really mattered.

"The squad today were under a lot of pressure and we've got the result and that showed the character.

"It was critical that we got on the board before half-time and we got seven points out of it and that massively lifted us coming off 20-14.

"We had 100% belief going into the game but we did make some fundamental errors.

"The gameplan was to play rugby and both sides did that in a bottom of the table clash - there were five scored and we have now scored 11 in the last five games and we're playing well."

Newcastle head coach Alan Tait:
"We were sitting comfortably at 20-7 after a tremendous defensive effort and someone decides not to kick it off the park.

"It just gets you down when things like that happen, but we have to regroup and we have to keep fighting.

"It's up to the players to pull together and we have to scrap for every point and muster a win from somewhere."


Newcastle: Manning, Fielden, Eves, Tu'ipulotu, Tait, Gopperth, Young, Golding, Thompson, Murray, Swinson, Van der Heijden, M. Wilson, Welch, Hogg.

Replacements: Bobo for Manning (54), Pilgrim for Young (43), Shiels for Golding (59), Vickers for Thompson (35), Brookes for Murray (71), Levi for Swinson (75), Gray for Welch (61).

Leeds: Stephenson, Blackett, Fa'afili, Burrell, Wackett, Jarvis, Mathie, Hardy, Thompson, Swainston, Browne, Hohneck, Myall, Fourie, To'oala.

Replacements: Tadulala for Wackett (69), Denman for Hardy (59), Gomez for Swainston (29), Oakley for Hohneck (47), White for To'oala (53).

Att: 6,876

Ref: Andrew Small (RFU).



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see also
Guscott's predictions
10 Apr 11 |  English
Gloucester 34-9 Newcastle
02 Apr 11 |  Rugby Union
Leeds 27-22 Exeter
03 Apr 11 |  Rugby Union


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