Aviva Premiership

Leicester seal thrilling comeback win, Newcastle edge Sale

Sam Harrison's last-minute try secured a thrilling 38-31 victory for Leicester Tigers in their Aviva Premiership season-opener against Gloucester at Kingsholm.

The visitors mounted a dramatic comeback having trailed 31-14 early in the second half, with new signing JP Pietersen, flanker Brendon O'Connor and scrumhalf Harrison (2) all finding the line to turn the game on its head on Friday.

Earlier, debutant Matt Scott had bagged two first-half tries for Gloucester and Charlie Staples and Henry Purdy had also gone over for the hosts, with Manu Tuilagi mustering Leicester's solitary five-pointer.

A yellow card to back-row Matt Kvesic, however, was followed almost immediately by a converted try from Luke Hamilton that made it 31-21 and put the visitors right back in the contest.

A Freddie Burns penalty further reduced the deficit and O'Connor's converted try on 77 minutes levelled things up.

Harrison then turned down a last-minute long-range shot at goal in favour of a line-out and from the resulting driving maul, the former England Under-20 international went over to seal a memorable win for Richard Cockerill's men.

There were fewer fireworks at Kingston Park, meanwhile, where Newcastle Falcons edged out Sale Sharks 19-17 in a bruising encounter.

Samoan wing Sinoti Sinoti scored the only try of the first half for the home side, before fellow-countryman Johnny Leota replied for the visitors five minutes after the break.

Two penalties from Mike Delany then took Newcastle out to a 19-10 lead, only for Byron McGuigan to touch down Dan Mugford's grubber kick on 70 minutes and keep his side in the contest.

In a tense finale, Mugford missed a late penalty as Newcastle hung on to secure their first league victory over the Cheshire side since September 2013.