Falcons flashback: Three previous pre-season clashes with Newcastle
It’s been over a decade since Glasgow Warriors and Newcastle Falcons faced off on the field, but pre-season clashes between the two teams weren’t always so rare an occurrence.
Indeed, throughout the latter part of the 2000s, both squads were fairly well acquainted over the course of many a pre-season encounter. Glasgow’s closest non-Celtic League opponents were frequent visitors north of the border as both sides tuned up ahead of the new campaign, with the Warriors repaying the favour on a couple of occasions.
As attentions turn to Friday night’s The Famous Grouse Pre-Season Challenge at Scotstoun, look back on three of the previous meetings between the teams…
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Glasgow Warriors 17-7 Newcastle Falcons
12 August 2011
The most recent match-up between the pair, it was the Warriors who emerged victorious in their opening match of the 2011/12 pre-season after a hard-fought clash at Firhill.
A 27-man Glasgow squad fell behind to an early score from Falcons flanker Redford Pennycook, with Scott Wight responding with a penalty on 20 minutes.
However, a pair of future British and Irish Lions would ultimately turn the tide in the home side’s favour; a turnover from Pat MacArthur eventually saw Tommy Seymour cross the whitewash, before Stuart Hogg finished off a cross-field attack just 90 seconds later.
In total, 17 future club centurions would take to the field that night at Firhill, albeit with only 16 of them pulling on a Glasgow shirt. The lone exception? That would be Tim Swinson, one of only two players to make a century of appearances for the Warriors and another club.
Nowadays, only five players remain from that night at Firhill; club co-captain Ryan Wilson, Rob Harley and Pete Horne have spent their entire careers in Glasgow colours, whilst Duncan Weir and Sean Kennedy will also be in contention to take on the Falcons more than a decade on.
Glasgow Warriors 18-13 Newcastle Falcons
31 August 2007
A brace of scrum-halves were the heroes for Glasgow Warriors when the Falcons came to town back in 2007, as a Sean Lineen-led home side edged a tight affair 18-13 in one of their first pre-season fixtures at Firhill.
Whilst a near-full strength Newcastle outfit could call upon the services of Australian World Cup-winning full-back Matt Burke and future British and Irish Lion Geoff Parling, it was the Warriors who struck first through a penalty from Colin Gregor.
Chris O’Young would dart over for the opening try of the match with five minutes to go until the break, with his half-time replacement Sam Pinder following suit just three minutes into the second stanza.
Late tries from Andy Buist and Parling gave the Falcons hope, but the Warriors held on to send the home fans on their way with a smile on their face.
Amongst the Glasgow squad that night were two men who would go on to make their mark at the Olympic Games once their playing careers were over; Mike Adamson’s refereeing career took the former Scotland 7s star to Rio 2016, whilst Scott Forrest led the women’s squad to Tokyo earlier this year.
Glasgow Warriors 13-7 Newcastle Falcons
18 August 2006
The summer of 2006 was arguably the point of peak recognition between the two squads, with the Warriors going up against their Kingston Park counterparts on no fewer than three occasions ahead of the 2006/07 season.
Having secured victory in the opening match of the mini-series the week before, all eyes were on a much-changed Glasgow outfit to see if they could back up their success against a Newcastle squad packed with talent, with Burke leading a starting XV also containing England legend Jonny Wilkinson at fly-half.
A cagey first-half saw Stevie Swindall make himself known to Wilkinson in the early exchanges, with Dan Parks notching the only points of the opening 40 minutes with two successful penalties.
Glasgow pressure eventually told as Donnie Macfadyen was driven over from a short-range lineout for what proved to be the winning try, despite a late Ollie Phillips intercept try causing a few nerves amongst the home support.
It would be a first victory as captain for Al Kellock, who would officially take charge as Glasgow Warriors captain in the 2006/07 season for a run that would conclude with the unforgettable 2015 Guinness PRO12 title victory…