Newcastle Falcons could be relegated from the Premiership this weekend after slipping to a 31-17 defeat at home to Northampton Saints.
The Falcons are bottom of the table with two matches remaining, seven points behind 11th-placed Worcester Warriors who also have a game in hand.
Sonatane Takulua opened the scoring for Newcastle with a sixth-minute penalty, but it quickly became apparent that, as has often been the case this season, this was not to be their night.
Tom Collins scored a first-half hat-trick of tries for the Saints and the score stood at a humbling 24-3 at the break in favour of the Saints.
Rodney Ah You and Takulua crossed early in the second period for the Falcons, yet any hopes of a dramatic turnaround were extinguished late on with Alex Mitchell’s clinching try.
Newcastle will now have to wait on other results to see if they can still retain their top-flight status. If Leicester Tigers – who sit 10th in the table on 38 points – beat Bristol on Saturday, plus Worcester get the better of Gloucester 24 hours later, the Falcons will be down.
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) April 26, 2019
Also on Friday, England international Anthony Watson played 74 minutes for Bath against Sale Sharks on his return after over a year out with an Achilles injury.
However, Watson could not stop Sale from edging a low-scoring affair thanks to AJ MacGinty’s pair of penalties.
The match ended 6-3, with Bath’s efforts hindered by a late yellow card for Zach Mercer.
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