Premiership: Newcastle Falcons 23-23 Wasps

Juan Pablo Socino
Juan Pablo Socino got away from Joe Simpson to score Newcastle Falcons' third try
Newcastle Falcons (11) 23
Tries: Tait, Furno, Socino Cons: Catterick Pens: Catterick 2
Wasps (13) 23
Tries: Miller, Daly, Thompson Cons: Goode Pens: Goode 2

Wasps twice came from behind to draw with an improving Newcastle Falcons in the Premiership at Kingston Park.

Alex Tait crossed to give the hosts an early lead but quick-fire tries from Rob Miller and Elliot Daly saw Wasps lead by two points at half-time.

After the break, tries from John Furno and Juan Pablo Socino restored Falcons' advantage, before the excellent Daly set up Guy Thompson to level the match.

Neither side was able to create enough to find a late winner.

The result saw Dean Richards' men move above London Irish into 10th, and while Wasps remain fourth, they are now level on points with third-placed Saracens.

Wasps on the rise
Wasps, who remain unbeaten at Kingston Park since October 2011, have now won four and drawn one of their last six Premiership games.

Falcons, who had won just one of their previous six Premiership games, started brightly and deservedly went ahead early on when Tait collected Adam Powell's excellent long pass to cross, after a strong burst from Sinoti Sinoti.

Tom Catterick missed the conversion but did kick the hosts into an eight-point lead when Wasps were penalised for coming in at the side.

After a slow start, the visitors grew into the game and Andy Goode kicked them to within five points after Joe Simpson's break led to a Newcastle knock-on.

Then two flashes of brilliance from Daly saw Wasps score twice in the space of two minutes.

First, the 22-year-old back broke and made a one-handed offload to former Falcon Miller, who finished in the corner.

And moments later, Daly surged down the wing and traded passes with Thomas Young before sliding over.

However, from difficult angles, Goode was unable to convert either try and, after Nathan Hughes was adjudged to have tackled off his feet, Catterick kicked Falcons to within two points before the break.

After the restart, Catterick and Sinoti combined to find Italian Josh Furno, who finished a well-executed move, but Catterick could not convert and Goode soon kicked Wasps level at 16-16.

Socino then intercepted a wayward Goode pass and evaded both Simpson and Christian Wade to run in from his own 22m line - only for Wasps to find an instant response thanks to another superb contribution from Daly.

The centre broke away once again and sent a brilliant, one-handed pass to Thompson to score under the posts, leaving Goode with the simplest of conversions.

The hosts arguably applied the majority of the late pressure as both teams looked to snatch victory, but after an enthralling contest the match only petered out into a draw.

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said:

"We're frustrated because we gifted them three tries. It was a win lost rather than a draw gained.

"We're going in the right direction but we have to learn to shut other sides down as well as being able to score tries.

"We don't seem to have the patience in defence that we have in attack and we will talk about that, but there were a lot of positives from the game."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said:

"Getting two points is obviously better than a loss. We probably just about deserved the draw. We certainly didn't deserve a win.

"We made a very poor start and for most of the game we were very sloppy and didn't build much pressure.

"A couple of individual moments of magic from Elliot Daly kept us in the game, but as a team we didn't function as well as we have for most of the season.

"I'm taking nothing away from the Falcons. They played really well and took their chances and deserved a draw if not something more."

Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley; Sinoti, Powell, Socino, Tait; Catterick, Blair; Vickers, Hawkins, Brookes, Furno, Barrow, Wilson, Welch (capt), Hogg.

Replacements: McGuigan, Orlandi, Wilson, Thompson, Mayhew, Tipuna, Clegg, Tiesi.

Wasps: Miller; Wade, Daly, Downey, Tagicakibau; Goode, Simpson; Mullan (capt), Festuccia, Cooper-Woolley, Davies, Myall, Johnson, Young, Hughes.

Replacements: Shervington, Yapp, Cittadini, Gaskell, Thompson, Bliss, Lozowski, Masi.

Attendance: 7,547

Referee: JP Doyle

Tom Catterick
Tom Catterick (left) kicked eight points and was involved in the build-up to Falcons' second try
Andy Goode
London Irish confirmed the signing of Andy Goode (left) for next season on Monday
Newcastle Falcons v Wasps
Both sides scored three tries and converted just one in a nip-and-tuck encounter

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