Premiership: Mateo Carerras scores a hat-trick as Newcastle Falcons secure record win over Leicester Tigers

Mateo Carreras scored three tries as Newcastle Falcons secured an impressive 45-26 victory over Premiership champions Leicester Tigers at Kingston Park on Saturday.  Credit: Alamy
Mateo Carreras scored three tries as Newcastle Falcons secured an impressive 45-26 victory over Premiership champions Leicester Tigers at Kingston Park on Saturday. Credit: Alamy

Mateo Carreras scored three tries as Newcastle Falcons secured an impressive 45-26 win over Premiership champions Leicester Tigers at Kingston Park on Saturday. 

It was a man-of-the-match performance from Carreras, with fly-half Brett Connon scoring 15 points from the tee to round off the bonus point victory, rocketing them up to seventh place on the standings for the time being. 

Winger Carreras ran in all three of his tries in the first-half to help Newcastle Falcons to a 28-5 lead at the break, back-row Callum Chick also grabbed a five-pointer to secure the bonus point in the opening 40. Connon converted all four tries.

Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs scored the visitors’ only points of the first half with Charlie Atkinson missing the resulting conversion. 

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Falcons lock Greg Peterson was sent to the sin-bin before half-time for a maul infringement. The Tigers profited from the man advantage in the second half as Ollie Chessum grabbed an early second-half try, barging over the try-line. A Connon penalty and a try from hooker Jamie Blamire put Newcastle back into a comfortable lead.

Despite going down a man when Tommy Reffell was yellow carded for a high tackle, Leicester managed to grab a try through replacement back Jimmy Gopperth, but centre Matias Moroni responded quickly to make it 45-19. Leicester had the final say as Sean Jansen scored the bonus point try for the visitors, Atkinson adding the extras. 

It was the hosts who found the breakthrough on 14 minutes – Carreras finished a wonderful move from right to left and Connon added the extras to give his side a seven-point lead.

Things got worse for the champions when Freddie Steward was sent to the sin-bin for blocking Carreras a minute later, but they held firm against the storm from the Falcons.

The Argentine was proving a huge thorn in the Tigers’ side – he almost grabbed a second try on the left wing when he chipped the ball forward to run onto, but was deceived by the bounce.

It did not take long for the score to come, however, as Chick drove under the posts on 27 minutes to leave Connon with the simplest of conversions.

The visitors did manage to claw one back before the interval when Youngs crossed in the corner after a pick-and-go, but Atkinson failed to convert a tricky opportunity from the touchline.

Carreras then claimed his second try on 36 minutes after receiving the ball from Connon 20 metres out – the 26-year-old duly added the extras.

And the wing wizard claimed a first-half hat-trick after a lung-busting breakaway 80 metres from the posts, earning his side a bonus point.

The Tigers thought they had grabbed another try after a series of penalties – and the sin-binning of Peterson – in added time when Charlie Clare went over at the fifth time of asking, but TMO ruled it out.

They rectified that within two minutes of the restart when Chessum found a way through on the right side, and Atkinson converted to reduce the arrears.

Connon slotted a 30-metre penalty home for the hosts on 46 minutes to give them a 19-point lead, before Blamire added another try 10 minutes later.

Reffell was sin-binned for Leicester in the 68th minute for head contact, but they did go over again through Gopperth after a quick tap.

Moroni then raced through the Tigers’ defence before Jansen ensured that the visitors would head home with something to show for their efforts despite suffering consecutive defeats on the road.

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