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Tait shows his true colours

27 Feb 2005
Tait shows his true colours

He scored one try and made another as Newcastle battled back from 22-6 down at the break to lead 27-22, and it needed a try three minutes from the end of normal time from Luke Narraway to rescue Gloucester the draw and three points – two for the draw and one for scoring four tries.

Dave Walder knocked over a third-minute penalty but Gloucester were making the early running, with Marcel Garvey and Terry Fanuloa – twice –  going mighty close.

Finally Andy Gomarsall weaved his way to the corner in the 21st minute, and shortly after Garvey dotted down under the posts.

Walder cut the gap to 12-6 with another penalty, but Henry Paul restored the lead to nine points with a drop goal.

Newcastle were guilty of missing more tackles close to the break, and Terry Fanuloa took full advantage, bursting through to score, again under the posts. Paul's conversion left it 22-6 to the cherry-and-whites at the break.

Newcastle scored a brilliant try to get the second half going. Mayerhofler broke from his own 22 and popped it to Tait, whose delicious chip was seized on by Michael Stephenson for the score. Walder added the extras.

Then Mayerhofler and Tait combined again to give the latter a scorching 30m run to the line. Walder again converted, and Newcastle were back to 22-20 behind.

Mayerhofler scythed through the middle for a try with seven minutes remaining after Hall Charlton had popped the ball up. Walder's conversion took Newcastle 27-22 ahead, but Gloucester rallied.

With three minutes of normal time left Luke Narraway was driven over for a try in the corner which levelled the scores at 27-27.

Gloucester nearly won it at the death when Seti Kiole broke through, Charlton and Tom May only just got to him to make a try-saving tackle.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:Tries: Stephenson, Tait, MayerhoflerCons: Walder 3Pens: Walder 2

For Gloucester:Tries: Fanuloa 2, Garvey, NarrawayCons: Paul 2Drop goal: Paul

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Dave Walder, 14 Tom May, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Mark Mayerhofler, 11 Michael Stephenson, 10 Mark Wilkinson, 9 James Grindal, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Cory Harris, 6 Mike McCarthy, 5 Craig Hamilton, 4 Luke Gross, 3 Micky Ward, 2 Andy Long, 1 James Isaacson       Replacements: 16 Ian Peel, 17 David Wilson, 18 Matt Thompson, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Semo Sititi, 21 Hall Charlton, 22 Joe Shaw

Gloucester: 15 Jon Goodridge, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 James Simpson-Daniel, 12 Terry Fanolua, 11 Seti Kiole, 10 Henry Paul, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Adam Balding (c), 7 Peter Buxton, 6 James Forrester, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Adam Eustace, 3 Gary Powell, 2 Noel Curnier, 1 Nick Wood Replacements: 16 Rob Elloway, 17 Terry Sigley, 18 Mark Cornwell, 19 Luke Narraway, 20 Alex Page, 21 Brad Davies, 22 Nathan Mauger

For more news, try out Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester Rugby

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