Freddie Burns kicked four penalties to help Gloucester defeat Newcastle
29 September 2013, 05:10 pm ::
By Pippa Field
Newcastle Falcons 16 Gloucester 22
Freddie Burns' four penalties helped Gloucester come from behind for the second week running to maintain their Aviva Premiership top-six ambitions with a narrow victory against Newcastle Falcons.
Having dramatically beaten Northampton Saints last week, tries from Rob Cook and Jonny May as well as four Freddie Burns' penalties ensured the Cherry and Whites made it back-to-back wins.
Tom Catterick had earlier scored Newcastle's first try of the season but the Falcons suffered their third defeat in four matches since returning to the Premiership.
Having gone three games without crossing the whitewash, the Falcons took less than a minute to finally end their drought through Catterick's score on the left-wing, which Rory Clegg converted.
Captain Will Welch had made the try, breaking the line before feeding Ally Hogg, who in turn offloaded for Catterick to gleefully dive over.
A number of injuries in the opening fifteen minutes meant neither side was able to build any rhythm although the Falcons remained on top with Gloucester struggling in the scrum.
One such scrum resulted in the penalty from which Clegg extended the Falcons lead on 19 minutes but Burns' straight-forward kick got Gloucester on the board two minutes later.
Newcastle's pack remained on top though and a couple of big driving mauls kept them camped deep in Gloucester territory, with Clegg restoring their ten-point lead from the tee.
Burns missed the chance to hit straight back when the Falcons were punished at the breakdown as his kick drifted wide in the high winds.
The Cherry and Whites manufactured more space through James Simpson-Daniel on 32 minutes though, and Rob Cook squeezed over in the corner when the ball was recycled just metres out.
Gloucester remained on top after the break, and great forward play deep in Falcons territory was eventually rewarded when a high tackle allowed Burns to kick a penalty from under the posts on 48 minutes.
And the Cherry and Whites were in front for the first time five minutes later when Noah Cato was drawn out of position, allowing Jonny May the space to dive over from Henry Trinder's pass.
A triple substitution by the Falcons halted the visitors' momentum however, and replacement fly-half Phil Godman levelled the scores with a straight-forward penalty on 59 minutes when Gloucester were penalised under pressure at the breakdown.
Burns kicked the visitors back in front from the edge of the 22 on 66 minutes however, and he sealed the victory with three minutes remaining by landing a difficult kick from the right touchline.
Newcastle piled the pressure on in the dying minutes with a series of rucks but Gloucester held firm with some desperate defending on their own tryline to secure their second victory of the season.