NEWCASTLE FALCONS’ flawless start to the season continued as they claimed a 38-7 win over Jersey Reds to secure top seeding in the knockout stages of the Championship Cup.

The victory extended Falcons’ unbeaten start to the season to 12 matches, and was the perfect prelude to this weekend’s Championship meeting with Ealing, which will see the top two teams in the table go head-to-head.

“I thought we were good in the first half – really clinical, took our chances and secured the bonus point before half-time,” said Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards. “In the second half, there were a lot of changes and it became disjointed, Jersey brought on some of their better players and it evened things up a little bit.

“We didn’t play the conditions particularly well on some occasions, although in fairness I thought Toby Flood did manage the kicking game well and got us into the right areas.

“That’s the experience that he has got, although as a collective we probably didn’t quite master the elements and we tried to play too much in the wrong areas. When you do that it just doesn’t quite work.”

Falcons will discover the identity of their quarter-final opponents later today, with their last-eight clash set to take place on the weekend of February 22.

Their final group game saw them build on a strong start to run out comfortable winners, with Sean Robinson claiming the first try in eighth minute as he rounded off a slick passing move that also featured Josh Matavesi and George Wacokecoke.

Robinson crossed for his second try in the left corner shortly before the half-hour mark, before a series of close-range penalties resulted in George McGuigan rounding off a textbook catch-and-drive move.

The four-try bonus point arrived a minute before the interval with McGuigan’s break setting up Matavesi to power over from close range.

Flood’s successful conversion took the half-time score to 26-0, and Falcons extended their lead further at the start of the second half when Ben Stevenson crossed on the left.

Jersey finally got on the scoreboard with a try from a driving maul in the right corner with five minutes remaining, with Greg Dyer converting from the right.

But it was Newcastle who rounded off the scoring with the final play of the day, with Jamie Blamire converting from a catch-and-drive on the right.

Newcastle Falcons: Tait, Radwan, Wacokecoke, Matavesi (Owen 54), Stevenson, Flood (Hodgson 62), Takulua (Stuart 71); Lockwood (Brocklebank 54), McGuigan (Blamire 54), Tampin (Daniels 54), Barry, Robinson (de Chaves 59), Graham, Welch, van der Walt (Chick 71).