Tom Collins scored twice as the Wanderers started their Aviva ‘A’ League season with a 24-20 win against Newcastle Falcons on Monday night.
Luke Eves, who signed on a six-month deal during the summer, also registered, while fly-half Sam Olver slotted nine points at Franklin’s Gardens.
Newcastle had led through an Andy Tuilagi try, but despite a second score, from Belisario Agulla, they could not beat the resilient Wanderers.
The Saints second string had taken an early lead through Olver’s penalty before Tuilagi beat a couple of tackles to score the first try of the night.
Fly-half Craig Willis, who had played his part in the build-up, added the conversion and the Falcons led 7-3.
But the Wanderers were back in front before the break as Howard Packman made good ground and Eves, on as a 12th-minute replacement for Pat Howard, used the territory to score.
Willis nudged Falcons back ahead in the opening stages of the second half, landing a couple of quick penalties.
But Collins ensured the Wanderers wouldn’t be behind for long, kicking ahead and winning the race to dot down after good work from Olver and Eves.
Collins added another try before Falcons were reduced to 14 men, with Joe Craggs sent to the sin bin.
The Falcons weren’t finished as Agulla found his way to the try line, but while the successful conversion narrowed the gap to four points, the Wanderers held on to claim the win.
Wanderers: Mallinder; Packman, Howard (Eves 12), Stephenson, Collins; Olver (Elliott 60), Kessell (Mitchell 62); Hobbs-Awoyemi, Williams (Moon 62), Denman (Parkins 60), Onojaife, Woolford (c), Fisher (Marshall 47), Harrison (Allman 70), Bennett.