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Page last updated at 18:30 GMT, Sunday, 20 March 2011

Gloucester 34-7 Newcastle

Gloucester (10) 34
Tries: Voyce, Fuimaono-Sapolu, Sharples, Dawidiuk
Cons: Robinson 4 Pens: Robinson 2
Newcastle (0) 7
Tries: Eves Cons: Gopperth

Gloucester with the LV= Cup
Gloucester's victory extends their winning streak to 11 matches

Gloucester banished the heartache of their previous final defeats by beating Newcastle 32-7 to win the LV= Cup.

A converted Tom Voyce try, after just six minutes, and Nicky Robinson penalty gave Gloucester a 10-0 half-time lead.

Another Robinson penalty, a sublime try from Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu and Charlie Sharples' score gave the Cherry and Whites breathing space after the break.

Luke Eves dived over for a Falcons consolation before Gloucester's Darren Dawidiuk was driven over at the death.

Gloucester, undone in last year's final by Northampton and thumped by 50 points against Cardiff in 2009, made it third time lucky with a comfortable victory at Franklin's Gardens.

In the process, they secured not only the first piece of silverware of the domestic season but also a precious place at Europe's top table in next year's Heineken Cup.

The game was drab to start with and only came to life when Gloucester produced two quick phases to put Tim Molenaar in space and his straight running allowed Voyce over into the corner.

Tom Voyce
Tom Voyce's early try came after some strong running by Tim Molenaar

Robinson, who produced a vintage display of kicking and distribution at fly-half, landed the conversion from the touchline.

There were 21 minutes on the clock before Robinson lined up his next kick, after Newcastle were caught offside, and he landed it without fuss to make it 10-0.

Newcastle's number 10 Gopperth, normally utterly reliable with his boot, pulled his two first-half shots at goal wide before Robinson fluffed a kick of his own shortly before the break.

The errors continued on both sides at the start of the second half with knock-ons and forced passes breaking up any rhythm the two teams created.

A Falcons infringement at the breakdown allowed Robinson the chance to make it 13-0 on 52 minutes before a kickable penalty in the other direction was passed up in favour of a line-out.

It came to nought and Robinson then began repeatedly pinning Newcastle in their own 22 with raking touch finders.

Just before the hour Fuimaono-Sapolu was the pivot, and the finisher, of a terrific try as the Gloucester backs weaved their way through the Falcons defence down the narrow side with some superb swift handling.

Robinson converted and soon after drilled the ball back into the Falcons 22.

The Cherry and Whites won a scrum and the former Cardiff Blues man ran a flat line before sending the ball wide and, after some good hands by Henry Trinder, Sharples went over in the corner.

Eves pulled a try back for the Premiership strugglers with six minutes remaining, which Gopperth converted, but it was too little, too late.

In the dying moments Gloucester mauled their way over the line with a catch-and-drive from which Dawidiuk emerged with the ball.

Gloucester coach Bryan Redpath:

"The players stuck to a lot of basics. I thought Nicky's kicking to that bottom right-hand corner was exceptional and it just frustrated Newcastle.

"It gave us a bit of strength and then we took our opportunities. I am delighted for the players and the staff. I am absolutely chuffed to bits for everybody involved with the club.

"The players should be happy about winning something because we set our sights to get as high as we can in the Premiership and win a competition.

"We've done that and now the challenge is left to push on in the Premiership and make sure we keep growing as a side and learn from tough days."

Newcastle head coach Alan Tait:
"I shook Bryan's hand after the game and the first thing I said to him was 'it was probably a job too far for us'.

"Full credit to what they are doing at Gloucester. They looked the part even in the warm-up. They are a good outfit.

"Obviously 10 games on the bounce is no mean feat, but we got stuck into the game and I still thought we had a bit of a chance at half-time because I knew we were still strong.

"We just didn't play in the right areas and when they got us to 20-0 we started to play the old Barbarians stuff that doesn't really work at this level.

"We have got to be happy to get to the final and it was great experience for our younger players."

Gloucester: Morgan; Sharples, Molenaar, Fuimaono-Sapolu, Voyce; Robinson, Pasqualin; Wood, Azam, Harden; Hamilton, Brown; Qera, Hazell, Narraway.

Replacements: Burns for Morgan (60), Trinder for Molenaar (56), Taylor for Fuimaono-Sapolu (74), Dawidiuk for Azam (78), Knight for Harden (71), James for Hamilton (64), Cox for Hazell (41).

Newcastle: A Tait, Fielden, Tu'ipulotu, Fitzpatrick, Eves, Gopperth, Young, Golding, Thompson, Brookes, Hudson, Van der Heijden, Swinson, B Wilson, Hogg.

Replacements: Catterick for Fielden (61), Bobo for Fitzpatrick (53), Charlton for Young (69), Shiels for Golding (65), Vickers for Thompson (46), Hall for Brookes (68), M Wilson for van der Heijden (62), Levi for Swinson (71).

Att: 6,848

Ref: Dave Pearson (RFU).

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see also
Robinson plays down favourite tag
18 Mar 11 |  Gloucester
Gloucester's road to LV= Cup glory
21 Mar 11 |  English
Belief key to Falcons - Golding
17 Mar 11 |  Newcastle
Falcons focus on final experience
17 Mar 11 |  Newcastle
Sharples wants repeat performance
14 Mar 11 |  Gloucester
Gloucester 45-17 NG Dragons
13 Mar 11 |  English
Harlequins 20-21 Newcastle
11 Mar 11 |  English
Northampton to host LV= Cup final
02 Mar 11 |  Northampton

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