Cherry and Whites secure Premiership third pace
Enough to win
Gloucester 28 Newcastle 19
Saturday, 4 May 2019, 1500hrs

This match was hardly a classic but at the end the Cherry and Whites got the job done with a bonus-try victory which condemned spirited Newcastle to relegation and confirmed a third-place Premiership spot for Gloucester.
In many ways it was a frustrating outing from the hosts and whilst the blustery wind may have been responsible for some of the line out problems there can be no excuses for too many first-up tackles being missed in a loose defensive display.
Two Newcastle tries in the opening quarter ensured the competitive visitors were no push-overs, as despite Gloucester dominating territory as at Worcester in the previous match, they were again let down by mistakes and a lack of accuracy.
The visitors' first try may have been against the run of play but it was well worked to take full advantage of a mid-field break, courtesy of poor Gloucester tackling and slick passing ended with a score for Micky Young converted by Toby Flood.
Flood became the first Falcons' player to get the wrong side of the referee and was yellow-carded allowing Gloucester to take full advantage as idol Danny Cipriani set up Jason Woodward for a try converted by Billy Twelvetrees to level the scores. 7-7.
However Newcastle took advantage of poor Gloucester play to set a driving maul from a line out for Sinoti Sinoti to score.

Gloucester did pull themselves back together with further tries from Cipriani and Charlie Sharples both converted as visitors had Callum Green sin-binned.

Interval score 21-12 but fair play to Newcastle they made a fierce start to the second period and dominated territory and possession as hosts had Ed Slater's replacement Lewis Ludlow carded but for all their pressure were only able to get one try from a driving maul as they narrowed the gap to 21-19.



One more try would have given the visitors the lead and a precious bonus-point but it was not to be as a loose pass was gratefully intercepted by winger Matt Banahan who ran straight in from well inside the Gloucester half for a converted try which effectively sealed Falcons' fate and the match as the hosts saw out time camped close to the Newcastle line.

Last season Newcastle were a top four team, this season they fell through the Premiership trap door. Doubtless next season they will be promoted. Such is the competition in the Premiership being increasingly dominated by the big spenders. Promotion and Relegation, to and from the Championship is becoming nothing but an unwanted rugby yo-yo.


15.Jason Woodward; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Matt Banahan; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Callum Braley 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Jaco Kriel, 8. Ben Morgan (capt)


16. Mike Sherry, 17. Val Rapava Ruskin, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Lewis Ludlow, 20. Jake Polledri, 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Lloyd Evans, 23. Henry Purdy

Unavailable for selection:

Freddie Clarke, James Hanson, Willi Heinz, Tom Hudson, Ciaran Knight, Tom Marshall, Tom Savage, Tom Seabrook, Ollie Thorley, Henry Trinder, Owen Williams

Att: 14,442
Tries: Woodward, Cipriani, Sharples, Banahan
Con: Twelvetrees (4)


Referee: Tom Foley

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