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Match Report: Gloucester Rugby 32 Newcastle Falcons 6

27 Feb 2016
Match Report: Gloucester Rugby 32 Newcastle Falcons 6

Tom Savage climbed off the bench to wrap up a bonus point as Gloucester Rugby recorded a convincing victory over Newcastle Falcons.

Newcastle came into the game off the back of home wins against Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints but they are still searching for an away victory in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.

Their hopes of changing that suffered a blow with the news that fly-half Andy Goode was a late withdrawal and they looked to be reeling from that loss as Gloucester flew out the traps at Kingsholm.

Billy Meakes was first to cross over, before James Hook and Ross Moriarty each followed suit before the break.

That left Newcastle with a mountain to climb and the hosts – beaten just once at Kingsholm in any competition since October – ensured they never looked like bridging the gap.

Nor did the Cherry & Whites look likely to score an all-important fourth try, however, until Savage powered his way over late on.

Hook missed an early shot at the posts, following a high tackle on Jacob Rowan, but the fly-half soon made amends when Gloucester were awarded a second kickable penalty.

When the Falcons began to find their footing, they were met by a solid Gloucester defence, while Rob Cook passed an early test under the high ball.

And the Cherry & Whites were further ahead inside ten minutes, when Meakes collected a well-weighted grubber from Willi Heinz to cross over and score, Hook converting.

The hosts began to establish some dominance at scrum time and earned another penalty within kicking range after 18 minutes but Hook missed the target for a second time.

However, Craig Willis – a late call-up for Andy Goode – sent the kick-off straight out and Newcastle were punished. The ball was swiftly spread wide and Hook spotted a gap to burst through to score, converting it himself.

Hook made it 20-0 shortly before the half-hour mark, after Scott Lawson was caught offside, but Newcastle picked up their first points of the game five minutes later, Willis slotting a penalty when the Cherry & Whites failed to roll away.

However, it didn’t take long for try number three for the hosts, as Mariano Galarza’s offload sent Moriarty over to score, though a strong breeze blew Hook’s conversion wide.

The Falcons did at least finish the half on the front foot but sustained pressure on the try line and a pair of kickable penalties finding touch, Willis eventually settled for three points – 25-6 at the break.

Billy Twelvetrees almost sent Charlie Sharples away in the corner early in the second half but Newcastle began to show a newfound resilience and found their way out of danger.

The hosts were caught offside 15 minutes into the half, only for Willis to miss the resulting penalty, before a host of replacements prompted a lull in proceedings.

Gloucester lacked a spark of inspiration in search of a bonus-point try and eventually found their way into the Falcons’ 22 ten minutes from time, only for Darren Dawidiuk to spill forward in contact.

However, the fourth score arrived at last on 75 minutes when Lewis Ludlow powered his way towards the line and Savage piled over it, Twelvetrees converting.

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