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Page last updated at 20:46 GMT, Thursday, 7 October 2010 21:46 UK

Newcastle 22-16 Bourgoin

Newcastle (12) 22
Tries: Manning, Graham, Fielden Cons: Manning, Hodgson Pens: Manning

Bourgoin (6) 16
Tries: Gondrand Cons: Laloo Pens: Laloo 3

Luke Eves
Luke Eves' inside break was instrumental in Falcons' opening try

A young Newcastle Falcons side produced a workmanlike performance to beat Bourgoin in their opening European Challenge Cup match at Kingston Park.

After trailing 6-0 to two Sebastien Laloo penalties Falcons came alive.

Jeremy Manning crossed first before Joe Graham bundled over from short range and his try was converted by Manning.

A Manning penalty and Luke Fielden try after the break extended Falcons' lead before Jeremy Gondrand pulled a try back for Bourgoin in a late charge.

In mild conditions the Falcons started slowly and came under early pressure from the bigger and more physical Bourgoin pack.

But the hosts came alive on 19 minutes when Eves' superb running line opened up the field and some great handling found fly-half Manning on the loop who dived in to score.

The New Zealander missed the conversion but was on target minutes later when Graham burrowed over after good work by skipper Ally Hogg at the base of the scrum to put the hosts 12-6 up.

Brent Wilson had the try line beckoning but could not gather Manning's cross-field after more dynamic running from Eves.

The second half started with scrappy play and poor handling on both sides but the Falcons soon rediscovered their rhythm and, with their backs dominating, twice worked try-scoring chances down the left only to come up short on the final pass.

Newcastle introduced 18-year-old fly-half Joel Hodgson, one of many young Falcons blooded on the night, and he immediately had a hand in Fielden's try which was well worked down the blindside.

The Frenchmen fought back though and replacement scrum-half Gondrand's converted try cut the deficit.

Bourgoin then elected to pick and drive and after 11 phases won an attacking scrum under the posts.

But as Gondrand dashed for the line James Fitzpatrick's crunching tackle stopped him dead and effectively ended the visitors' challenge.

Newcastle: Tait; Fielden, Bobo, Eves, Amesbury; Manning, Young; Shiells, Graham, Ward, Levi, Townson, Wilson, Wilson, Hogg (capt).

Replacements: Brookes, Fearn, Ryan, Swinson, Pennycook, Pilgrim, Fitzpatrick, Hodgson.

Bourgoin: Moinot; Va'aulu, van Zyl, Viazzo, Nasiganiyavi; Laloo, Campeggia (capt); Milloud, Janaudy, Charlet, Jooste, Louchard, Cowley, Tulou, Genevois.

Replacements: Merle, Iapteff, Pelo, Levast, Labrit, Gondrand, Janin, Coux.

Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)

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