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Newcastle 10-7 Gloucester

Newcastle (7) 10
Try: Williams Con: Clegg Pens: May

Gloucester (0) 7
Try: Lawson Con: Barkley

Danny Williams races over for Newcastle
Danny Williams' try set Newcastle on their way to a hugely important win

Lowly Newcastle claimed what could be a vital win come the end of the season as they stunned Premiership high-flyers Gloucester at a gusty Kingston Park.

Newcastle had the wind at their backs in the first period and took a 7-0 half-time lead through Danny Williams' converted try from Jamie Noon's break.

Gloucester levelled two minutes after the break through Rory Lawson.

But Newcastle never stopped fighting and a penalty from Tom May 10 minutes from time gave them a gutsy victory.

Gloucester spurned the chance to go back to the top of the Premiership for the first time since November and the Cherry and Whites suffered a further blow as they lost England internationals Mike Tindall and Olly Morgan to injury in the second half.

Tindall suffered a dead leg while Morgan fractured a finger and will require surgery to repair suspected tendon damage.

Newcastle remain second from bottom of the table but they are now seven points clear of bottom-placed Bristol, who were well beaten at Saracens.

Falcons' fly-half Rory Clegg missed with a couple of penalty attempts before the hosts finally took the lead after 25 minutes.


England centre Noon burst through in midfield and when Newcastle recycled possession, rugby league convert Williams stepped out of the tackle to score his fourth try in four games.

With the wind behind them in the second half Gloucester were always going to kick for field position before launching attacks, and it took them just two minutes to level the scores.

They banged the ball deep and although Newcastle were awarded the put-in at a scrum the hosts lost possession when the ball squirted out.

Lawson pounced, and after Gloucester went through two phases the scrum-half sniped over from close range, with Olly Barkley landing the conversion.

Steve Jones missed a difficult penalty for the Falcons when they fought their way into Gloucester territory but the hosts continued to press and were awarded another penalty with 10 minutes to go, with May stepping up to bisect the posts.

With five minutes remaining Gloucester were awarded a kickable penalty but they decided to go for a scrum instead in an attempt to grab the winning try.

However, their attack came to nothing and Newcastle held out to claim a hugely welcome victory.

Newcastle coach Steve Bates:
"We have got to take those points and say that is a major result and the way we got them doesn't really matter too much at this moment in time.

"It will give us some confidence for the end of the season and perhaps a little bit of breathing space so we can relax a bit.

"We have now got to take this result and take it forward."

Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan:
"It was always going to be a game that with 60mph winds out there was going to be very difficult.

"When a wind is that dominant you are going to sit on a 7-10. It was decided on a penalty to Newcastle and we have to take that on the chin and move on."

"It is obviously very serious for Olly (Morgan). I think there is some tendon damage, but I don't know how long he will be out for."

Newcastle: May; Williams, Noon, Tu'ipulotu, Visser; Clegg, Young; D Wilson, Vickers, Hayman, Swinson, Parling, Dowson (captain), Williamson, Balding.
Replacements: Thompson, Ward, Sorenson, B Wilson, Grindal, Jones, A Tait.

Gloucester: Morgan; Watkins, Tindall (capt), Barkley, Foster; Walker, Lawson; Dickinson, Titterrell, Nieto, Bortolami, Brown, Strokosch, Satala, Narraway.
Replacements: Azam, Wood, James, Eustace, Lewis, Lamb, Allen.

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see also
Saracens 37-13 Bristol
11 Jan 09 |  English

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