Rugby: Russell's winning run now almost 30

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Former Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby coach Peter Russell's Newcastle Falcons are within one win of completing an unbeaten 22-match home-and-away league season ahead of the England Rugby Championship playoffs.

The 25-10 win in an away game against Plymouth Albion early on Saturday (NZT) keeps them 25 points clear at the top of the round robin phase of the second-tier Championship which they complete early on Sunday (NZT) at home to fourth-placed and expected semifinal opponents Bristol.

Before the two-leg playoff in May they face a British and Irish Cup semifinal against fellow Championship side Bedford, on April 27.

Their 29 consecutive wins under Russell, appointed head coach and travelling from New Zealand to guide the Tyneside club's fortunes after relegation from the Premier competition in May last year, comprises all 21 games in the Championship, the seven pool and quarter-final games in the Cup, and one against Tonga.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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