Newcastle Falcons make it seven wins out of seven in the RFU Championship in snowy conditions at Kingston Park on Friday night.
Tries from Rory Lawson, Scott MacLeod, Jonny Golding and Zach Kibirige secured the bonus-point triumph as the Falcons continued their quest for an immediate return to the Aviva Premiership with a 33-0 win over Rotherham Titans.
The Falcons opened the scoring on eight minutes courtesy of a Jimmy Gopperth penalty from just inside the Rotherham half, after the visitors were penalised for not rolling away at the ruck.
Gopperth repeated the feat two minutes later, this time to the right of the posts to keep the scoreboard ticking over at 6-0.
Two more penalties from Gopperth followed before the Falcons got their first try on 32 minutes. Good work in the pack from Golding, Rob Vickers and Will Welch set the platform, before the ball was switched to the left for Lawson to celebrate his Scotland call-up with a try.
Just before half-time Lawson’s fellow countryman MacLeod crashed over from close range as Richards’ men began to assert their dominance in the pack. Gopperth turned down the chance of three points, instead kicking into the corner, and from the resulting lineout the Falcons formed an effective rolling maul for MacLeod to score.
The Falcons' third score of the evening came minutes into the second half. Touted by Richards as a possible candidate for an England Saxons berth, former Rotherham prop Golding burrowed his way over the line following some great line-out play.
On 52 minutes the crowd were on their feet when teenager Zach Kibirige intercepted a pass inside his own 22, before outpacing the Titans and running the length of the field to seal the bonus-point. Gopperth converted from the touch line to make it 33-0
As the clock struck the hour mark, a blizzard had well and truly set in. There were no signs that the deluge of snow was going to ease off and the game petered out, with the Falcons winning to record their ninth straight victory in all competitions.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 11 Tom Catterick, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Rory Lawson, 1 Jonny Golding, 2 Rob Vickers, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 4 Carlo del Fava, 5 Scott MacLeod, 6 Richard Mayhew, 7 Will Welch, 8 Ally Hogg
Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 James Hall, 18 Sean Tomes, 19 Chris York 20 Jordi Pasqualin, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 James Fitzpatrick
Rotherham Titans: 15 Fergus Mulchrone, 14 Peter Homan, 13 Lee Blackett, 12 Gary Law (c), 11 Eamonn Sheridan, 10 James McKinney, 9 Jimmy Williams, 1 Shane Cahill, 2 Dan Baines, 3 Ross Davies, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Nile Dacres, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Alex Rieder
Replacements: 16 Ted Stagg, 17 Gareth Denman, 18 Jamie Kilbane, 19 Joe Ellyatt, 20 Mike Doneghan, 21 Ed Styles, 22 Charlie Mulchrone