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Gloucester Rugby 20 Newcastle Falcons 3

16 Nov 2013
Gloucester Rugby 20 Newcastle Falcons 3

Gloucester Rugby returned to winning ways at Kingsholm after tries from Rob Cook and Mike Tindall helped brush aside Newcastle Falcons by 20-3 in the LV= Cup.

Cook touched down early on and, though Rory Clegg hit a penalty in reply, the Cherry & Whites went on to score 13 more unanswered points through Tindall and the kicking of Freddie Burns.

But the victory would come at a cost as veteran wing James Simpson-Daniel and Ryan Mills suffered what seemed to be a serious injuries in the first half.

Alex Tait, Dom Barrow and Ally Hogg all returned to boost a strong Newcastle starting line-up as Dean Richards made eight changes to the side that triumphed against London Irish at Kingston Park a week ago.

And Gloucester – who suffered an LV= Cup opening defeat at the hands of Northampton Saints – welcomed loose-head Nick Wood back into the fold after an eight-week suspension as one of seven different faces.

Burns was at the centre of proceedings early on but the Falcons stood firm to halt his advances.

However neat Cherry & Whites interplay – with Tindall at its heart – eventually opened up holes for full-back Cook to bundle over the line before Burns kicked over the extras.

Newcastle were struggling under the weight of Gloucester pressure until a Clegg penalty pinned the home side down in their own territory.

After several collapsed scrums the visitors duly took the chance to pelt the first points between the posts when another penalty was given – Clegg making no mistake.

Adam Powell then broke free following a Falcons lineout and could have gone all the way if not for replacement Steph Reynolds, who had come on for the injured Mills.  

And in another blow for Gloucester, Simpson-Daniel was stretchered off midway through the half.

Unfazed, the hosts quickly earned a penalty and Burns made it two out of two to extend their advantage back to seven points.

Both sides were struggling to gain a foothold in the scrum, leading to props Rob Vickers and Shaun Knight sin bins just before half-time to take both sides down to 14 men.

After the interval Newcastle gave away a cheap penalty for not rolling away, Burns further punishing the visitors with his boot.

The Falcons were in danger of letting the tie slip away from them but Ryan Shortland – who was proving a rare spark – nearly stole through if not for a last-gasp tackle from Huia Edmonds.

Newcastle conceded yet another penalty with ill-discipline in the breakdown and in a let-off for Richards’ troops, Burns pinged the ball back off the post.

And Gloucester finally made their dominance pay on the hour-mark when Mike Blair’s kick was charged down to gift Tindall the simplest of tries.

If anything the home side’s pace quickened in the closing stages as the Falcons tried to repel them away from the try-line.

Despite relentless pressure their defence remained strong but with no signs of life in attack, Newcastle could not find a way back into the game.

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