Now Dean Richards' men face a step up in class as they travel to Top 14 side Brive, who won the Heineken Cup in 1996, and who have won all four home games this season, including a 33-0 wipe-out of reigning French champions Castres Olympique in their last game at Stade Municipal.
But despite the quality of their squad, Brive did exactly what Falcons did in Bucharest and blooded a lot of youngsters for their trip to Rugby Calvisano in the opening round. In the end they were lucky to escape with a 20-20 draw.
It means both teams will have to go all out for victory on Saturday - the Falcons to consolidate their position at the top of the Pool and Brive to overtake them. The two teams have met eight times before in Europe, with the Falcons winning five of them.
- These two clubs have met on eight previous occasions in the Amlin Challenge Cup with Newcastle holding a narrow 5-3 advantage.
- Newcastle have won just once in their last six trips to France in the competition (L5 W1)
- Brive have lost just one of their last 11 home games in the Amlin Challenge Cup, a 42-37 defeat at the hands of Munster in 2011.
- Brive's 20-20 result against Calvisano in the last round was their first drawn match in their tournament history (79 matches).