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Gloucester Rugby 40 Newcastle Falcons 33

22 Mar 2014
Gloucester Rugby 40 Newcastle Falcons 33

A spirited fightback was not enough to prevent Newcastle Falcons’ 11th straight Aviva Premiership defeat, as Gloucester Rugby secured maximum points in a high-scoring contest at Kingsholm.

Sione Kalamafoni’s early try was cancelled out by Newcastle No.8 Chris York before Rob Cook, James Hudson, Mike Tindall and replacement Jonny May each scored to open up a hefty lead.

George McGuigan and Andy Saul went over in quick succession to keep the contest alive, before Alex Tait and Noah Cato added further tries to clinch a second bonus point for the visitors.

After a nervy start, Newcastle made their way deep into home territory 11 minutes into the contest and a powerful drive earned them a penalty – but Phil Godman missed the target.

Not deterred by the missed opportunity, they went back on the front foot and former Falcon Hudson soon found himself in the sin bin, penalised by referee Wayne Barnes for piling in at the side.

But it was Gloucester who took the initiative, first Dan Robson falling inches short of the line before Kalamafoni collected the ball to cross over and score on 18 minutes, Cook converting confidently.

With Hudson’s return imminent Newcastle finally capitalised, Zach Kibirige and Cato involved in a neat build-up that saw Godman send a looping pass to York to score, Godman this time bisecting the posts.

But Gloucester re-took the lead minutes later, Henry Trinder feeding Cook who, with Charlie Sharples waiting on his outside, powered for the line before converting it himself.

Newcastle were soon handed a let-off as Martyn Thomas knocked on when well placed to score but Cook extended the lead with a second penalty five minutes before the break.

And the half ended in disappointing circumstances, as Kibirige was stretchered off on his Aviva Premiership debut, to be replaced by Lee Smith.

Cook struck an early penalty through the posts just three minutes after the break and Hudson, who joined Gloucester from Kingston Park in the summer, was on the scoresheet five minutes later.

The second row charged down a Mike Blair clearance and gobbled up the loose ball to dot down, with Cook once again on target with the extras.

Tindall added the all-important fourth for Gloucester, shortly after a free-flowing backs move ended in Cook falling short of his second – and the full-back’s conversion flew wide.

England’s Ben Morgan and May took to the field on the hour mark and the latter ran in a simple try with his first touch of the ball, the impressive Matt Kvesic involved in the build-up.

But a powerful run soon after the restart saw prop McGuigan crash his way over the line, before Saull bundled across the line – Joe Hodgson converting both.

Gloucester continued to falter, as Kvesic saw yellow nine minutes from time and Tait soon sprinted clear to grab an unlikely try bonus point.

And, after another Cook penalty, Cato added Newcastle’s fifth try with the final act of the match, Hodgson’s conversion securing a second bonus point.

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