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Newcastle close gap with victory over Lyon

Newcastle have kept their European Challenge Cup campaign alive with a 48-29 Pool 2 defeat of Lyon.

Impressively earning a bonus point at Kingston Park, the Falcons also avenged the 42-12 loss Lyon had inflicted on them in France nine days earlier.

In the build-up to Sunday's fixture, Newcastle had recognised the importance of winning to maintain their hopes of progressing beyond the competition's pool stage. They remain in third place with a total of 10 points, but trail Lyon by only one ahead of two further fixtures with pool leaders Ospreys and the pointless Grenoble after conceding a bonus point late on.

Newcastle's Juan Pablo Socino scored the game's opening try after being fed by Zach Kibirige. Sonatane Takulua added a second in the 13th minute, shortly before Socino's second.

Lyon's Thibaut Regard had responded with their first try before Joel Hodgson secured the hosts' bonus point by scoring their fourth, which when converted ensured a 34-10 half-time lead.

Pierre-Louis Barassi's try reduced Lyon's deficit shortly after the break, but their momentum was arrested by another from Kibirige.

Franck Romanet responded to leave Lyon one try from securing their own bonus point, before Callum Chick sealed Newcastle's victory with their sixth touch down.

Paul Bonnefond, however, scored for the visitors, denying the Falcons an even more positive result.

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