European Challenge Cup: Newcastle 32-27 Dragons

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Adam Radwan (right) celebrates his try with Newcastle team-mate Sam Stuart
European Challenge Cup
Newcastle (15) 32
Tries: Vickers, Radwan, Graham, Wilson Cons: Flood 3 Pens: Flood 2
Dragons (6) 27
Tries: Landman, Hewitt, Howard Cons: O’Brien 3 Pens: O’Brien 2

Newcastle scored two tries in each half to open their European Challenge Cup campaign with a bonus-point victory at home to Pro14 side Dragons.

Rob Vickers went over from close range and Adam Radwan scored in the corner as Falcons led 15-6 at the interval.

In a topsy-turvy second half, converted tries from Rynard Landman and Ashton Hewitt put the Welsh side 20-15 ahead.

But debutant Gary Graham and skipper Mark Wilson scored either side of Pat Howard’s try to give the hosts victory.

Fly-half Toby Flood kicked 12 points on his first Falcons start as they made 11 changes for the tie, while Dragons gave a full debut to hooker Liam Belcher in a side showing nine changes.

Despite collecting five points, Dean Richards’ Newcastle trail Bordeaux on points difference in Pool One, after the French side thrashed Enisei-STM 57-17 in Russia on Friday.

Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley; Tait, Mermoz, Flood, Radwan; Hodgson, Stuart; Vickers, Sowrey, Davison, Witty, Robinson, Wilson (capt), Graham, Burrows.

Replacements: Blamire, Brocklebank, Wilson, Young, Welch, Dawson, Cowell, Harris.

Dragons: Talbot-Davies; Hewitt, Rosser, Warren, Gasson; O’Brien, Pretorius; Garrett, Belcher, Fairbrother, Davies, Screech, Wainwright, Griffiths (capt), Benjamin.

Replacements: Ellis, Davies, Harris, Landman, Thomas, Leonard, Henson, Howard.

Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)

Touch Judges: Tual Trainini (France), Eric Soulan (France)

Citing Commissioner: Wayne Sheridan (Ireland)

For the latest Welsh rugby news follow @BBCScrumV on Twitter.



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