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Brive will be hoping to continue their excellent recent record over Newcastle Falcons when they meet in a European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final on Friday evening at Kingston Park, live on Sky Sports.
Brive have won five of the last six meeting between the two sides, but have lost five of their last six away games against Aviva Premiership opposition, only beating Worcester in that time and conceding an average of 35 points.
Newcastle won all six pool stage games in this campaign, the only other time they achieved this feat was in 2005/06 when they reached the semi-finals.
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) March 28, 2018
Newcastle Falcons missed fewer tackles than any other club during the pool stage (76), recording the best tackle success rate as a result (92%).
Adam Radwan is the top try scorer so far this season (10 tries in six games), while no player has gained more metres (630), made more clean breaks (13) or beaten more defenders (45) than the Newcastle wing.
Newcastle Falcons line-up
15. Simon Hammersley; 14. Alex Tait, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Josh Matavesi, 11. Zach Kibirige; 10. Toby Flood, 9. Sam Stuart; 1. Sam Lockwood, 2. Scott Lawson, 3. Scott Wilson, 4. Calum Green, 5. Sean Robinson, 6. Ryan Burrows, 7. Will Welch, 8. Nili Latu
16. Santi Socino, 17. Rob Vickers, 18. Trevor Davison, 19. Will Witty, 20. Callum Chick, 21. Joel Hodgson, 22. Adam Radwan, 23. Tom Penny
15. Thomas Laranjeira; 14. Guillaume Namy, 13. Felix Le Bourhis, 12. Seremaia Burotu, 11. Sevanaia Galala; 10. Nicolas Bézy, 9. Florian Cazenave; 1. Julien Brugnaut, 2. Francois Da Ros, 3. Soso Bekoshvili, 4. Johan Snyman, 5. Jan Uys, 6. Said Hireche, 7. Retief Marais, 8. Etienne Herjean
16. Thomas Acquier, 17. Na’ama Leleimalefaga, 18. James Johnston, 19. Peet Marais, 20. Julien Le Devedec, 21. Vasil Lobzhanidze, 22. Arnaud Mignardi, 23. Franck Romanet
Match Centre - Preview - Lineups
Newcastle Falcons swooped into the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-finals with a hard-fought 25-10 victory over Brive on a dank Good Friday evening at Kingston Park.
- A brace of tries from Alex Tait as well as scores from Scott Wilson and Zach Kibirige saw the Falcons sweep aside TOP 14 strugglers Brive and progress to the Challenge Cup semi-finals, where the winners of Connacht Rugby’s and Gloucester Rugby’s clash await them.
- After an attritional opening quarter it was some magic from the Falcons front row which broke the deadlock as prop Sam Lockwood ran a fine line before offering a neat offload to prop colleague Wilson, who slid through a gaping hole in the Brive defence and fly-half Toby Flood duly added the extras for the hosts.
- Five minutes later Brive hit back through a Nicolas Bezy penalty, but in the very next minute winger Kibirige doubled the Newcastle try tally with a fine finish out wide, after the Falcons stretched the visiting defence in a beautifully orchestrated move, with Flood the catalyst.
- An error-strewn first period ended with Brive seizing on a Falcons blunder, with barnstorming No.8 Etienne Herjean completing a 60-metre intercept score to bring the tourists within two points at the interval.
- A scoreless third quarter left both coaches frustrated as the benches began to empty, but it was Falcons stalwart Flood, who was again at the heart of the action. He made a stellar midfield burst before offering a looping passing for Tait to slide over the whitewash in the right corner as the hosts tightened their grip on the tie.
- The same combination of Heineken Man of the Match Flood and Tait would link up again just eight minutes later as the fly-half again released the winger into open space on the right flank. Replacement fly-half Joel Hodgson’s penalty in overtime added a gloss to a fine performance which sees them progress into the final four of Europe’s second-tier competition.