Newcastle Falcons bounce back from their opening-round defeat against Cardiff Blues by coming from behind to beat Castres in the Challenge Cup; the loss is the French side’s first in 14 home European matches
Last Updated: 18/12/20 10:43pm
Sam Stuart, Tom Arscott and Josh Basham scored second-half tries to earn Newcastle Falcons a 26-17 Challenge Cup victory over Castres at Stade Pierre-Antoine on Friday.
The Falcons bounced back from losing their opener to Cardiff Blues last week by coming from behind to inflict a first home European defeat in 14 matches on the hosts.
Newcastle went ahead after 15 minutes through Brett Connon’s penalty, but they were stunned by a quickfire try double midway through the first half.
Antoine Bouzerand touched down twice in the space of three minutes to give Castres a 10-3 lead, before two more Connon penalties cut the deficit to one point at the half-time interval.
The Falcons had a strong wind against them in the second half but a flowing move culminated in Stuart scoring with 25 minutes remaining, and replacement Chidera Obonna began an impressive debut by setting up Arscott.
The Falcons had their third try four minutes from time when Basham crossed in the left corner, Obonna again with the key pass, before Castres found a consolation through Vilimoni Botitu.
In the evening clash, Zebre snatched an 18-16 victory at Brive with a Carlo Canna penalty in the final minutes to secure their opening win of the competition.
Brive went ahead early on through Guillaume Galletier’s converted try but Zebre rallied through tries from Marcello Violi and Pierre Bruno to lead at half-time. Brive hit back to go 16-12 up but Italy fly-half Canna slotted over two late penalties to earn Zebre the victory.