Newcastle Falcons 16 Gloucester Rugby 22: Gloucester edge home after tries from Rob Cook and Jonny May
NEWCASTLE FALCONS 16 GLOUCESTER 22
ROB Cook might have scored one of Gloucester’s two vital tries in this engaging Premiership victory.
But it was the full-back’s last-ditch try-saving tackle on Phil Godman that ultimately won the game for the Cherry and Whites.
Imperious Cook just keeps getting better and better at the base of Gloucester’s talent-heavy backline spine.
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Newcastle shocked Gloucester with a try after just one minute, Tom Catterick taking a scoring pass from Ally Hogg after Mike Blair’s clever delayed pass bisected the visiting defence.
James Simpson-Daniel’s flat, wide pass almost had Cook away for a score, before Ben Morgan sent the former Cornish Pirate over in the right corner in the same move.
And in the second-half fit-again wing May scooted into the left corner after Simpson-Daniel again joined the line and Henry Trinder fired out the scoring pass.
Gloucester should have kicked on and closed out the result after May’s try just ahead of the final quarter.
But the Falcons fought back, and squeezed Gloucester all the way to the final whistle.
Gloucester’s rugby director Nigel Davies hailed his side’s grit and resolve to grind out a first league win at Kingston Park since December 2007 – and a first Premiership victory on the road since February.
Davies said: “Mental strength was the most pleasing aspect of the result.
“They started extremely strongly, but we rode that out.
“The fact we couldn’t hold onto the ball in their half really killed us in the first-half, but we were far better in that department after the break.
“When there were opportunities to score we weren’t clinical enough, we created a lot of chances that we just didn’t finish off.
“We were kicking ourselves anyway, but we really would have been had we lost that game.”
NEWCASTLE: Tries: Catterick (1) Cons: Clegg (1) Pens: Clegg 2 (19, 28), Godman (59).
GLOUCESTER: Tries: Cook (32), May (53) Cons: Pens: Burns 4 (21, 48, 66, 77).
NEWCASTLE: A Tait, N Cato, A Powell, J Fitzpatrick, T Catterick, R Clegg (P Godman, 54), M Blair (W Fury, 71), F Montanella (R Vickers, 54), M Thompson (G McGuigan, 71), O Tomaszczyk (S Wilson, 54), S MacLeod (S Tomes, blood 15-22, 68), D Barrow, M Wilson, W Welch (capt), A Hogg. Unused: C York, A Crockett.
GLOUCESTER: R Cook, J Simpson-Daniel (C Sharples, 68), H Trinder (M Tindall, 76), B Twelvetrees, J May, F Burns, J Cowan (D Robson, 60), D Murphy (Y Thomas, 4), D Dawidiuk (K Britton, 74), S Knight (R Harden, 50), T Savage (capt), W James (E Stooke, 67), S Kalamafoni, M Kvesic, B Morgan (G Evans, 67).
REFEREE: Andrew Small.