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Newcastle Falcons will be looking to extend Cardiff Blues’ losing run on Premiership grounds to five games when they host the two-time European Rugby Challenge Cup winners at Kingston Park on Friday at 20:00 British and Irish time.
The clubs’ second meeting in the competition will be broadcast live on BT Sport and S4C.
- Newcastle and Cardiff have met once before in the Challenge Cup, the Welsh side winning 55-20 in a quarter-final meeting in 2009/10, the Blues went on to win the competition that season.
- Newcastle have won 12 of their last 14 home games in the Challenge Cup. Their two defeats in that time came against Welsh opponents, however, versus Dragons in January 2015 and Ospreys in January 2017.
- The last time Newcastle were in the Challenge Cup (2017/18) they reached the semi-finals, having won all of their pool stage matches.
- Cardiff Blues have lost their last four away games against Premiership opponents in the Challenge Cup at an average margin of 22 points.
- Cardiff averaged five tries per game in the Challenge Cup last season, the most of any side in the competition.
Newcastle half-back Joel Hodgson: “Cardiff Blues are a quality side who play with skill and aggression, and we’re seeing this as a massive opportunity to beat a good team.”
Cardiff head coach John Mulvihill: “We have done well in the Challenge Cup previously and the boys are looking forward to the challenge of taking on a Newcastle Falcons team flying high in the English Premiership.”
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Cardiff Blues fly-half Jarrod Evans kicked 16 points as his side beat Newcastle Falcons 33-20 in an entertaining European Rugby Challenge Cup opener at Kingston Park
Newcastle edged a hotly contested first half thanks to tries from George Wacokecoke and Sam Stuart – both converted by Joel Hodgson who also added an early penalty.
Cardiff stayed in touch with the hosts thanks to a Halllam Amos score and two penalties from Evans, as they trailed by four points heading into the halftime interval.
CAIS I TOMOS WILLIAMS! 🙌
Mae Gleision Caerdydd yn ôl ar y blaen! 🔥
A fantastic kick and chase by Hallam Amos leads to the first try of the half!
🏉 @falconsrugby 17 v 23 Gleision Caerdydd
🔴 English Commentary Available#ChallengeCupRugby @cardiff_blues pic.twitter.com/yS4zg5IgTx
— S4C Chwaraeon 🏴 (@S4Cchwaraeon) December 11, 2020
That deficit was reduced further early in the second half as Evans slotted his third penalty of the evening, before Teddy Williams crossed to hand Cardiff the lead.
Another Hodgson kick put Newcastle within striking distance five minutes from time, but a penalty try for Cardiff moments later handed the visitors a hard-fought victory.
Newcastle take on French side Castres in Round 2 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup next week, while Cardiff host Stade Francais.
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MPU – Left Column – English
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