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Page last updated at 21:55 GMT, Friday, 4 November 2011

Newcastle Falcons 16-16 Worcester Warriors

Newcastle (6) 16
Tries: Mayhew Cons: Gopperth Pens:Gopperth 3
Worcester (13) 16
Tries: Perry Cons:Carlisle Pens: Carlisle 2, Goode

Newcastsle v Worcester
Honours were even between the Premiership's bottom two sides

Bottom side Newcastle scored a late try to grab a draw at home to fellow Premiership strugglers Worcester.

Worcester led 13-6 at the break thanks to Shaun Perry's converted try and two Joe Carlisle penalties, Jimmy Gopperth landing two penalties for the Falcons.

Gopperth and Andy Goode then exchanged points from the kicking tee.

Michael Mayhew squeezed over with three minutes left and Gopperth converted to secure a draw which leaves the Falcons five points adrift of the Warriors.

Gopperth's conversion also denied Worcester a first ever Premiership win at Kingston Park.

The first half was dominated by the boot and some ferocious defending on both sides.

Worcester fly-half Carlisle's inclusion at the start ahead of former England player Goode raised a few eyebrows but he held his nerve to land a penalty after five minutes.

Gopperth responded as both number 10s landed kicks with the Newcastle man recovering from a huge hit to level the scores for a second time on 24 minutes.

The opening try came when Perry followed his pass behind Carlisle and after the stand-off popped the ball off the deck the former England man collected to go in at the corner.

Carlisle landed the touch-line conversion and although the Falcons came back at Worcester, they could not break their visitors down.

Newcastle emerged from the tunnel with greater intensity and won a penalty in front of the posts, which Gopperth converted.

Home winger Alex Tait produced a superb break and offloaded from the floor to Corne Uys but the South African spilled the ball with the line beckoning.

The rain started to come down and errors crept in both sides before Goode, on for Carlisle, restored Worcester's seven-point lead with a penalty after Luke Eves put in a dangerous tackle.

With less than 10 minutes left Falcons fashioned another good opening but turned the ball over in their opponents' 22 and it looked as though defeat beckoned.

But replacement hooker Mayhew finished off a series of powerful drives to go over with three minutes left and Gopperth converted to level the scores and give rock-bottom Newcastle some hope for the rest of the season.


Newcastle head coach Alan Tait:
"It's two points that will help us no end. We should have been fast out of traps but we were very nervy and we only seem to start to play when all seems lost.

"We have to start believing in ourselves. We have a fantastic squad but they have the realise that this is only November and not April and stop being so nervous.

Worcester head coach Richard Hill:

"Our players are very disappointed they didn't close out the game and I've been consoling them - which is a bit of change - and telling them it is a good two points.

"But we do tend to sit back on a lead and we have to stop doing that and get a winning mentality."



Goosen; A Tait, Uys, Helleur, Sheriffe; Gopperth, Pasqualin; Shiells, Graham, Murray; Hudson, van der Heijden; Wilson, Welch, Hogg.

Replacements: Eves for Helleur (63), Wells for Shiells (55), M. Mayhew for Graham (73), Swinson for van der Heijden (51), Pennycook for Welch (66).

Worcester: Classens; Garvey, Grove, Rasmussen, Benjamin; Carlisle, Perry; Mullan, Lutui, Taumoepeau; Percival, Gillies; Best, Betty, C Jones.

Replacements: Goode for Carlisle (63), Shervington for Lutui (70).

Att: 7,013

Ref: Wayne Barnes (RFU).

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see also
Guscott's predictions
05 Nov 11 |  English
Northampton 44-15 Newcastle
29 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Worcester 12-14 Wasps
28 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union

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