NEWCASTLE FALCONS’ faultless season continued as they cruised into the semi-finals of the Championship Cup with a trouble-free 28-5 win over London Scottish.

Falcons have now won 20 out of 20 this term, with their latest success having secured a home semi-final against opponents who will be announced later today. The last-four game will be staged at Kingston Park on Friday, April 17.

Their quarter-final victory was never really in doubt, with first-half tries from Callum Chick and Adam Radwan securing a 14-0 lead at the interval.

Fresh from signing a new contract, Toby Flood converted both first-half scores, no mean feat given the gale-force winds that were howling around Kingston Park.

The conditions made it hard to produce free-flowing rugby, but Falcons extended their lead at the start of the second half when an astute kick to the left corner set up a driving maul that ended with Jamie Blamire crashing over.

Flood nailed another difficult conversion, and while the hosts were reduced to 14 men when Gary Graham was sent to the sin bin midway through the second half, their superiority was rarely threatened.

Radwan claimed his second try of the afternoon as he rounded off an excellent passing move with three minutes left, before London Scottish finally got on the scoreboard via Matt Eliet’s consolation try in the dying seconds.

“There were a couple of boys playing for the first time in a long while, like Toby Salmon, Sam Stuart and Philip van der Walt,” said Richards. “There were some other boys who just needed the game time, and overall I was pleased even though it was a little bit disjointed at times.

“We stuck it and scored some wonderful tries – we probably got on the wrong side of the referee, but that’s just life. It seems to be the feature of the year at the moment for us.

“After that first couple of tries we gave away a few silly penalties, and the referee started looking at us differently. When you give away those silly penalties you probably need to expect what’s going to come as a result, and that’s our own doing.”

Meanwhile, scrum-half Sonatane Takulua has ended a five-year stay on Tyneside to join French giants Toulon.

Takulua made 94 senior appearances for Falcons after joining from New Zealand provincial side, Northland, in 2015, but while the Tonga international has remained a key part of the squad during the current campaign, the Newcastle hierarchy did not feel they could block a lucrative overseas move.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime for Tane and his family,” said Richards. “We could not stand in his way given how much he has contributed to the club during his time here.

“Tane has been an outstanding professional, and this move will set him family up for life so he goes with the thanks and best wishes of everyone involved in the Falcons family.”