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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Energetic Takulua can grab try for flying Falcons

Livewire Leinster scrum-half McGrath also tryscorer value

Newcastle's Sonatane Takulua looks a value bet to cross the whitewash
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Newcastle v London Irish
BT Sport 1, 7.45pm Friday
Leinster v Edinburgh
TG4 & BBC Alba, 7.35pm Friday

Life back in the Premiership for London Irish began with a fine 39-29 Twickenham double-header win over Harlequins. But it has been all downhill since and the slump is unlikely to stop at Newcastle in this televised clash.

The Falcons are asked to give up 13.5 points on the handicap. They flew out of the blocks at their Kingston Park base with a 35-8 win over Worcester and stunned Sale 13-12 at the AJ Bell Stadium. They also bounced back from their 29-7 defeat to Saracens in Philadelphia with a terrific 33-32 success at Bath on Saturday.

Since felling Quins, the Exiles have been thumped on their previous road trips to champions Exeter and Sale and conceded the try bonus before half-time at home to Northampton on Sunday.

Newcastle’s tough itinerary may have sapped their stamina but the remain a force and while wings Niki Goneva and DTH van der Merwe are huge try threats, energetic Tonga scrum-half Sonatane Takulua looks a value bet to cross the whitewash.

Takulua scored six tries in 19 league outings last season and dotted down against Worcester and at Bath.

Another scrum-half worth a wager is Leinster livewire Luke McGrath in their Dublin Pro14 encounter with Edinburgh.

McGrath has not bagged a five-pointer this season but scored for Ireland in a summer Test triumph over USA following a nine-try club season.

Edinburgh began the season with two wins but have suffered two disappointing back-to-back losses and Leinster will be keen to make up for a surprise defeat to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

BBC2 Wales are covering Ospreys’ visit to South Africa (4pm) and Scarlets’ home clash with Connacht (7.35pm) and last May’s final Pro12 kings can give up 15 points to the Galway gang.

Scarlets have claimed three try-bonus wins and were edged out in a high-quality match at Ulster. Connacht crashed 21-8 at Dragons in their last away game.

S Takulua to score a try in Newcastle v London Irish
1pt 16-5 Betfair, Betway, P Power
L McGrath to score a try in Leinster v Edinburgh
1pt 11-5 bet365
Scarlets -15
2pts 10-11 bet365, Betfred

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Takulua scored six tries in 19 league outings last season and dotted down against Worcester and Bath
E.W. Terms
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