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Page last updated at 20:37 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 21:37 UK

Gloucester 39-23 Newcastle

Gloucester (16) 39
Tries: Balshaw 3, Simpson-Daniel 2 Con: Walker Pens: Barkley 4

Newcastle (6) 23
Tries: Thompson, May, Dowson Con: Clegg Pens: Wilkinson, Clegg

Iain Balshaw
Balshaw was in clinical form as Gloucester moved up to this with a win

Iain Balshaw ran in three tries as a clinical Gloucester side put Newcastle to the sword, with an injury to Jonny Wilkinson compounding the Falcons' woe.

Wilkinson was carried off with a knee injury in the first half, but Balshaw had edged the hosts in front by then.

Another Balshaw try saw Gloucester take control, although Matt Thompson and Tom May scores reduced Newcastle's deficit.

Balshaw and James Simpson-Daniel shared three more tries to wrap up the scoring before Phil Dowson's late reply.

The victory takes Gloucester up to third in the Guinness Premiership, at least until Wednesday's round of matches are completed.

Newcastle suffered a third defeat in five matches, but battled bravely after Wilkinson had to be carried off after twisting his knee awkwardly at the bottom of a ruck.

The Falcons were ultimately undone by Gloucester wing Balshaw's hat-trick and a quick-fire brace from Simpson-Daniel, while fly-half Olly Barkley - an England autumn Test contender - booted four penalties and Willie Walker slotted a late conversion.

Simpson-Daniel's brace came after hooker Thompson's opportunist 47th-minute touchdown from a line-out and centre May's breakaway score briefly cut the Gloucester advantage to just three points.

But Balshaw completed his treble within minutes to kill the Falcons' resolve and pave the way for Simpson-Daniel to continue his excellent start to the new season, though Dowson added an air of respectability to the score two minutes from time.

Meanwhile, Apo Satala, the Army number eight and former Leeds Carnegie player, has signed a contract with Gloucester until the end of the season.

Gloucester boss Dean Ryan:
"We should have scored twice early on, and if that had happened we could have had a lot of superiority.

"It has been a pretty tough start to the season for us - we've had Leicester, Bath, Harlequins, Sale and Newcastle, and won three of those games.

"We haven't played that well, but we will be content with what we've got."

Newcastle rugby director Steve Bates:

"Some parts of our performance were good, but other bits were absolutely dreadful. We made some naive errors.

"We didn't look after the ball well enough, and some of our defensive errors we will have to look closely at.

"If we had done the right thing at the right time, we could have probably made it a lot closer."

Gloucester: Morgan, Balshaw, Watkins, Tindall, Simpson-Daniel, Barkley, Cooper, Wood, S. Lawson, Brown, Dickinson, Bortolami, Buxton, Strokosch, Narraway.
Replacements: Walker for Watkins (41), Foster for Barkley (76), R. Lawson for Cooper (50), Young for Wood (79), Azam for S. Lawson (50), Satala for Buxton (76), Hazell for Narraway (37).

Newcastle: Jones, Phillips, Noon, May, Visser, Wilkinson, Charlton, Ward, Thompson, Hayman, Perry, Sorenson, Balding, Williamson, P. Dowson.
Replacements: Davey for Visser (66), Clegg for Wilkinson (25), Young for Charlton (72), McDonnell for Ward (64), Long for Thompson (50), Swinson for Perry (50), Winter for Balding (37).

Sin Bin: Jones (63).

Att: 12,861

Ref: D Rose (RFU).

see also
Newcastle 17-3 Bristol
26 Sep 08 |  English
Sale 23-9 Gloucester
26 Sep 08 |  English

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