European Challenge Cup - Falcons leave it late in Romania

Newcastle Falcons narrowly escaped a humiliating defeat on their return to European competition as they came from behind to beat Bucharest Wolves 13-12 in Pool Three of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

PA Sport Report
European Challenge Cup - Falcons leave it late in Romania

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Dean Richards (PA Photos)

Dean Richards made 10 changes for the trip to the Romanian capital, and the alterations took their toll.

Bucharest had never beaten English opposition, but led 12-10 at half-time thanks to four Vali Calafeteanu penalties and it was not until full-back Tom Catterick kicked a winning penalty four minutes from the end that Richards could breathe easy.

The visitors had made the perfect start with a penalty from Joel Hodgson inside two minutes, but it was the home side who had the best of the first half.

Newcastle's cause was not helped when they lost captain Alex Crockett to injury, but they clawed their way back into the game through Adam Powell before the interval.

The expected second-half fightback never materialised and it was Newcastle who were holding on.

Hodgson missed the chance to put Newcastle ahead when he struck the post with a penalty.

But, after the Romanian side were reduced to 14 men with a yellow card, Catterick kicked the decisive penalty.

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