2019 Guinness Six Nations top try scorer Jonny May remains in fine form as he helped Leicester Tigers to a much-needed Friday night win at Newcastle.
May – who crossed for six tries in this year’s Championship including a first-half hat-trick against France – went over in the first half at Kingston Park as two sides battled to beat the drop.
May is now the joint top try scorer in Gallagher Premiership Rugby this season as well, despite missing games in both the autumn and the Guinness Six Nations.
Scotland centre Chris Harris crossed for Falcons later in the first half but in the end May’s try, the boot of George Ford and a superb solo showing from Guy Thompson were enough for a vital Tigers win that puts them eight points clear of the bottom side Falcons.
England fly-half Ford, England’s saviour at Twickenham on Super Saturday, said: “I feel relief more than happiness. We’ve missed that winning feeling.
“The forwards got us out of that. For confidence and momentum, it’s huge.
— Jonny May (@J0nnyMay) April 13, 2019
“It’s been hard, people coming up to us saying ‘what’s going wrong?’ But tonight we had unbelievable clarity. And we showed plenty of fight.”
Meanwhile, it was not the dream farewell for Scotland and Edinburgh hooker Ross Ford on what should be his final outing at BT Murrayfield in club colours.
Scotland skipper John Barclay crossed for a try for Richard Cockerill’s side but that was about as good as it got as their Guinness PRO14 play-off hopes took a serious hit in defeat to Ulster.
Jordi Murphy scored one of the Irish province’s four tries on the night while John Cooney kicked nine points in the 29-7 bonus-point win that cemented their own play-off spot.
Elsewhere, Italy stars Tommaso Allan and Tommaso Benvenuti put in fine individual efforts for Benetton but they were unable to down Munster in Treviso, slipping to a 37-28 defeat in the end.
And Dan Evans crossed for a hat-trick for the Ospreys as they had too much quality for the Southern Kings in a 43-7 victory.