EPCR Challenge Cup side Newcastle Falcons defeated fellow Pool A side Bristol Bears 30-15 to claim their first win of the Gallagher Premiership season on Friday.

Scores from Connor Collett, George McGuigan and two from winger Mateo Carreras ensured that Newcastle outscored their opponents in a thrilling game.

Newcastle led 17-3 at the break, crossing three times after going behind to an early penalty. Carreras went over first, before Collett and McGuigan followed suit to further punish a lacklustre Bristol side.

But it was a different Bristol team that emerged after the interval. Henry Purdy and Richard Lane both battled over the line to give the visitors renewed purchase in the match, but AJ MacGinty could only kick one conversion to leave the comeback incomplete.

That proved costly. Tian Schoeman, a late replacement for the injured Brett Connon, kicked Newcastle’s lead back up to five points before Carreras sealed a bonus point victory, breaking free and running two thirds of the pitch to cross with the clock in the red.

The United Rugby Championship (URC) also had EPCR Challenge Cup sides in action on Friday. Cardiff Rugby were defeated at home by Emirates Lions 31-18, despite having led at the break. The South African side, who are in Pool B, rallied in the second period, buoyed by the boot of fly-half Gianni Lombard.

Meanwhile Pool A side Connacht Rugby fell to another loss. They were defeated 28-14 by Vodacom Bulls, their third successive defeat, which leaves them at the foot of the URC table with zero points