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Leicester Tigers and Newcastle Falcons will meet for the first time in the European Rugby Challenge Cup on Saturday as they compete for a place in the semi-finals of this year’s competition.
Leicester overcame Connacht Rugby 48-32 in a pulsating last 16 encounter to reach the quarter-finals, while Newcastle edged Ospreys 28-24.
Leicester have a 100 per cent win record in this season’s Challenge Cup having won both their pool stage games, but Newcastle were beaten by Cardiff Blues (33-20).
Newcastle have won nine of their last 11 games in the Challenge Cup, but have lost each of their seven away games in the competition against English opposition.
The game at Mattioli Woods Welford Road kicks off at 12:30 (British and Irish time) and is available to watch live on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and beIN SPORTS in France.
Leicester Tigers; 4th in European Rugby Challenge Cup Prelim Stage; 9 points
Newcastle Falcons; 8th in European Rugby Challenge Cup Prelim Stage; 4 points
Round of 16
Leicester Tigers 48-32 Connacht Rugby
Ospreys 24-28 Newcastle Falcons
Challenge Cup Head-to-head record
The sides have never met in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Leading 2020/21 points-scorers
Leicester Tigers: Zack Henry (22)
Newcastle Falcons: Brett Connan (17)
"We got a bit of a shock in those first 20 minutes going 14-0 down…"
After @FalconsRugby's incredible comeback on Saturday we caught up with @brettconnon96 🦅
Tune into the #ChallengeCupRugby Show right here at 6pm for the full interview + highlights from all the games ⏰ pic.twitter.com/khpR1tVxX8
— Challenge Cup (@ERChallengeCup) April 8, 2021
Dean Richards (Newcastle Falcons): “The European Challenge Cup is an important competition for us, and you know me – I just want us to go as far as possible. We’ll have another good test [against Leicester] and we’ll be giving it everything.”
- This will be the first European meeting between Leicester Tigers and Newcastle Falcons.
- Leicester Tigers have won eight of their 10 games in the Challenge Cup (L2), including each of their five home games by an average margin of 24 points.
- Leicester Tigers have won five of their seven games against fellow Premiership teams in European competitions (L2), all in the Heineken Champions Cup; only one of those seven games ended with a margin greater than 10 points.
- Newcastle Falcons have won nine of their last 11 games in the Challenge Cup (L2) after winning only six of the previous 16 (L10); one of those two defeats in that 11-game span came the last time they visited an English team however (Gloucester, 12-33 in April 2018).
- Newcastle Falcons have lost each of their seven away games in the Challenge Cup played against another Premiership team, with an average margin of 20 points and failing to score more than 16 points in any game in the process.
- Leicester have averaged the fewest passes (69) and most kicks (33) per game in the Challenge Cup this season.
- Darren Barry has won more lineouts (16) than anyone else in the Challenge Cup this season, he is yet to steal an opposition throw though.
- Joe Heyes (Leicester) has made more tackles (35) than any other player in the Challenge Cup this season, team mate Cameron Henderson has made the joint third most (31).
- Leicester’s Jasper Wiese has beaten more defenders (14) than anyone else in the Challenge Cup this season, he’s also made 23/23 tackles and scored a try.
- Tom Arscott (Newcastle) has gained more metres (225) than any other player in the Challenge Cup this season, with only two players beating more defenders than him (11).
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Leicester Tigers ran in five tries in a powerful display over Newcastle Falcons, running out 39-15 winners in their European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final clash on Saturday.
The scrum proved the lynchpin for the hosts who took advantage time and time again from dominance in that area, grabbing two penalty tries in the process.
Tigers enjoyed an ideal start when wing Harry Potter went over with a great finish in the corner after a cute kick in behind from Johnny McPhillips.
Brett Connon kicked a three-pointer to nudge Newcastle a little closer but Leicester would rack up the next 10 points, scoring a penalty try – with Mark Wilson heading to the sin bin – after the driving maul collapsed before McPhillips kicked three from the tee.
Excellent from @FalconsRugby!
Constant support as they breach Leicester's defence before George Wacokecoke dots down acrobatically in the corner.#ChallengeCupRugby pic.twitter.com/zjgVd8XO4I
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 10, 2021
Newcastle did well to halt the Tigers’ momentum and went in only seven behind at the break as they worked from left to right, finding George Wacokecoke who had just enough room to dot down in the corner.
Leicester took charge again after the break, with McPhillips releasing the backs and eventually finding Matias Moroni who dived over in the corner.
Newcastle did respond through Tom Penny – who was injured in scoring the try – going over after a lovely inside pass from Ben Stevenson.
But Leicester ran riot in the final 10 minutes, scoring another penalty try before Harry Potter grabbed his second of the afternoon and secured his side’s spot in the Challenge Cup semi-finals.
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