Planet Rugby

Injuries over-shadow Falcons win

13th April 2007 22:09

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Jonny Wilkinson and James Forrester

Wilkinson suffers yet another injury

England stars Jonny Wilkinson and Mike Tindall could miss England's tour to South Africa after picking up injuries in Friday's Guinness Premiership match at Kingston Park.

Newcastle eventually won the game 19-12, thanks to Toby Flood and Jonny Wilkinson, who shared the points between them.

Tindall was carried of on a stretcher with a leg injury after a second-half collision with England centre Toby Flood and Wilkinson went off with what looked to be a rib injury after 55 minutes.

England coach Brian Ashton will no doubt be checking on both players over the weekend.

Ryan Lamb and Wilkinson both kicked early penalties but both sides had problems handling the wet ball on a cold misty evening and there were plenty of errors before Lamb edged Gloucester ahead with his second penalty.

Wilkinson then charged down Lamb's drop goal attempt, snapped up the rebound and found Flood on his shoulder for the England centre to weave his way to the line, standing up Iain Balshaw, for the first try.

Wilkinson converted before adding his second penalty from 45 metres for a 13-9 half-time lead, Lamb slotting one from a similar distance just before the break.

Newcastle's line-out creaked throughout but Gloucester's handling was equally suspect, with knock-ons and forward passes ruining half a dozen promising moves.

Flood took over the kicking from Wilkinson to edge Newcastle 19-9 ahead with two long-range penalties as Gloucester still went top of the Premiership on more wins over Leicester thanks to Willie Walker's 73rd minute penalty, which gave the Cherry and Whites a losing bonus point.

The Falcons started the second half with a bang, both Wilkinson and Flood, along with John Rudd, probing and had the Newcastle line-out been able to deliver any decent ball Gloucester would have been struggling.

Matt Burke was hauled down right on the line and play was held up for several minutes as England centre Mike Tindall was stretchered off after a collision with Toby Flood and then referee Tony Spreadbury went off to be replaced by Rob Debney.

Wilkinson then limped off with a rib injury and Flood stepped up to kick two massive penalties to edge Newcastle 19-9 ahead before Willie Walker hammered over a 73rd-minute penalty to salvage a point for Gloucester.

The Scorers:

For Newcastle:

Try: Flood

Con: Wilkinson

Pens: Wilkinson 2, Flood

For Gloucester:

Pens: Lamb 3, Walker

The Teams:

Newcastle: 15 Matthew Burke (c), 14 John Rudd, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Jamie Noon, 11 Toby Flood, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Phil Dowson, 7 Ben Woods, 6 Geoff Parling, 5 Andy Buist, 4 Andy Perry, 3 Micky Ward, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Joe McDonnell.

Replacements: 16 David Wilson, 17 Andy Long, 18 Jason Oakes, 19 Brent Wilson, 20 Loki Crichton, 21 James Grindal, 22 Tom May.

Gloucester: 15 Iain Balshaw, 14 James Bailey, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Mark Foster, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 James Forrester, 7 Jake Boer, 6 Peter Buxton, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Will James, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Olivier Azam, 1 Nick Wood

Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies, 17 Jack Forster, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Luke Narraway, 20 Peter Richards, 21 Willie Walker, 22 Jon Goodridge

Referee: Tony Spreadbury

Touch judges: Don Helme, Alan Hughes

Assessor: Colin High

Television match official: Trevor Parlett

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