The star of former Hawke's Bay Magpies, rugby coach Peter Russell, is continuing to rise in England with a third win from three competition matches for new charges the Newcastle Falcons.
The Falcons, relegated in May from the ITM Cup Premiership to the Championship, celebrated their first home match of the competition early on Saturday (NZ time) with a 37-3 hammering of Doncaster Knights, yet to win a game in the 12-team competition.
In their first two games with Russell as the club's new head coach, Newcastle had away wins over Bristol (37-20) and London Scottish (49-32), now 5th and 9th, and next Sunday try to maintain a record as the only unbeaten side with an away match against 6th-placed Cornish Pirates.
Bristol beat the Pirates at the weekend.
The Falcons won three of their four pre-season matches as Russell joined the club after the Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union bypassed him despite he and co-coach Tom Coventry taking the Magpies to three NPC semifinals and last year winning the Championship final to earn promotion to the Premiership.