Gloucester Rugby’s Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign ends with defeat at Newcastle

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Gloucester’s Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign ended with a defeat at Newcastle.

After Bath’s win over Ospreys on Friday night, Gloucester’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals were already over but Newcastle had it all to play for and it showed as the hosts got the bonus-point win to virtually book their place in the last four.

Gloucester took the lead after eight minutes when Big Ben set up little Ben for a try, Morgan with the powerful run down the blindside that created a two-on-one and giving Vellacott a clear run to the line. Owen Williams converted.

Newcastle levelled in the 15 minute following a five-metre lineout and a series of pick and drives with hooker Kyle Cooper eventually scoring. Toby Flood added the extras before going off with a head injury.

Cooper scored his second from close range to put Newcastle ahead and three minutes later the Newcastle hooker was influential again as he punched through Gloucester’s defence before Michael Young offloaded for Mark Wilson to cross the whitewash.

Both tries were converted by Joel Hodgson as Newcastle opened up a 21-7 lead after 30 minutes.

Gloucester were suddenly spurred into life and Gareth Evans pulled a try back three minutes before half-time following a rolling maul with Williams converting.

Newcastle got their bonus-point try two minutes into the second half when Vereneki Goneva linked up with Josh Matavesi on the left before passing inside for Alex Tait to score.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 03: Kyle Cooper of Newcastle Falcons dives for the line as he scores a try in the first half during the Anglo-Welsh Cup match between Newcastle Falcons and Gloucester Rugby at Kingston Park on February 3, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Hodgson added the extras and a penalty in front of the posts to take Newcastle 31-14 ahead.

Gloucester used their bench with 18-year-old Academy players Aaron Hinkley and Tom Seabrook coming on for their senior debuts and they gradually got back into the game.

Newcastle had centre Matevesi yellow carded for blocking Vellacott’s quickly taken tap penalty from close range and soon after Matt Scott scored with a superb run through the defence started from Williams’ offload just outside the 22.

Gloucester kept searching for a bonus-point try of their own but couldn’t find a way through and Newcastle will now go through to have a chance of reaching the Kingsholm final unless Leicester can score 13 tries against Wasps on Sunday.

Newcastle: S Hammersley; A Tait, T Penny, J Matavesi (Z Kibirige 76), V Goneva; T Flood, (J Hodgson 18), M Young (S Takulua 58); S Mavinga (A Brocklebank 58), K Cooper (B Sowrey 63 (K Cooper 79)), S Wilson (T Davison 58); G Young (R Burrows 36), A Davidson (C Chick 63); M Wilson (c), N Latu, A Hogg.

Tries: K Cooper (2), M Wilson, A Tait.

Conversions: T Flood, J Hodgson (3).

Penalty: J Hodgson.

Gloucester: T Hudson; D Halaifonua, (T Seabrook 44), M Scott, M Atkinson (E Creed 69), H Purdy; O Williams, B Vellacott (C Braley 69); C Orr (P McAllister 41), M Matu’u (R Hibbard 60), G Denman (C Knight 52); C Beckett (T Denton 56), J Thrush (c); G Evans, W Safe, B Morgan (A Hinkley 62).

Tries: B Vellacott, G Evans, M Scott.

Conversions: O Williams (2).

Referee: M O’Grady.

Att: 4,096

Star man: Matt Scott.



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