Whereas the groups of the EPCR Challenge Cup 2022/2023 are now known, we will come back to previous European meetings between teams that will face each other in the new next season. The clash between the Newcastle Falcons and Connacht Rugby, who will find themselves in Pool A, is the subject of our focus of the day.
Quarter-finals 2005/2006: Newcastle Falcons 23 Connacht Rugby 3
The first confrontation between the two teams in sight of Newcastle is essential, in the quarter-finals, under the rain of the Kingston Stadium. The Falcons controlled the game for 80 minutes, with a sublime try from Toby Flood, also author of 13 points on foot. Mike McCarthy widened the gap in favor of the Falcons by opening up on the way to the in-but while Connacht’s only response came with a penalty from Paul Warwick just before the break.
Group stage 2007/2008: Connacht Rugby 16 Newcastle Falcons 13
This meeting of the third day, two seasons later, was the scene of a much more disputed scenario at the Sportsground. Connacht finally won their second group stage victory. Newcastle led through a try from Tom May, converted by Jonny Wilkinson, who also added two deletions. But Connacht added to the score based on a try from Conor O’Loughlin, converted by Andy Dunne. The opener then equalized with a drop before scoring the sensitivity of the victory in the final minutes.
Group stage 2007/2008: Newcastle Falcons 39 Connacht Rugby 0
Newcastle put on a real display in the second leg the following weekend, scoring no less than five tries at Kingston Park. Tim Visser, Mathew Tait, Toby Flood and Ollie Phillips crossed Connacht’s try line, while Jonny Wilkinson shone with 14 kicks.
Newcastle 🦅 crosses the Irish Sea for their first round match against Connacht 🇮🇪
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) July 26, 2022
Group stage 2015/2016: Connacht Rugby 25 Newcastle Falcons 10
Eight seasons later, on matchday three, Connacht fought back to claim victory at the Sportsground and take control of Pool 1. Jack Carty’s precision on foot was the difference, with the fly-half scoring six sanctions before transforming the test of Danie Poolman. Newcastle for their part responded with a try from Will Witty converted by Craig Willis, which was also entered in the first act.
Group stage 2015/2016: Newcastle Falcons 29 Connacht Rugby 5
The following weekend, Newcastle recovered well in its Kingston Park lair. A victory allowing them to join Connacht at the top of the Pool. Marcus Watson crossed the Irish Province goal line in the 24th minute but Connacht fought back shortly through Danie Poolman with the sides level at the break. The Irish were however in great difficulty from the first minutes of the second half by conceding a try from vulnerability, while Eoghan Masterson received a yellow card. On the power play, Newcastle sealed victory with a try from Belisario Agulla, another miss try and Watson’s second personal try.