Falcons still in the mix
Newcastle Falcons proved there is life after Alan Tait with a thumping 43-0 victory over Italians Petrarca to keep themselves in the mix for an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final place this season.
Tait quit as coach of the Premiership side earlier this week to be replaced by the high-profile pair of Gary Gold, the former South Africa assistant coach, and Mike Ford, the former England defence coach.
The Premiership outfit, who crossed for seven tries against Petrarca, managed the all-important bonus-point victory at Kingston Park to keep the pressure on pool leaders Toulon. The Falcons travel to France to face European rugby's new boys Lyon next weekend, knowing they have to win to stand any chance of making the knockout stages of the tournament.
The English side only had a try by full-back Tom Catterick, who latched onto a chip by Luke Fielden, to show for their first-half efforts and were only 7-0 ahead at the break against the Italian part-timers.
Centre James Fitzpatrick scored the home side's second try after the break to double their lead before fly-half Joel Hodgson's impressive support play saw him cross under the posts to make it 21-0.
Wing Ryan Shortland crossed for the Falcons' bonus-point try before scrum-half Jordi Pasqualin, prop Ashley Wells and Shortland again crossed to secure a vital home win.