Planet Rugby

Gloucester and Falcons share spoils

27th October 2007 17:10

Share:

Hall Charlton Newcastle Gloucester

Fighting Falcons: Hall Charlton sparks an attack for Newcastle

Newcastle Falcons, inspired by the return of England star Toby Flood, got their EDF Energy Cup campaign off to a promising start by holding Gloucester to an 18-all draw at Kingsholm on Saturday.

The visitors might have actually won had it not been for an injury-time equaliser from James Simpson-Daniel, who returned from a three-week injury lay-off to save Gloucester's blushes.

The Falcons caught their hosts cold within 90 seconds when Ollie Phillips scored a try converted by Toby Flood, one of the few big names fit enough to start for injury-striken Newcastle.

Aware that their scrum did not boast the same power as Gloucester's eight, Newcastle wasted no time getting the ball out through Hall Charlton to Flood, and with Tom May slotting into the line to create the extra space, Phillips was able to cut in between Iain Balshaw and Karl Pryce to scurry over.

Gloucester squandered several chances to pull level after a rash of handling errors in contact.

Fijian flanker Akapusi Qera, while a fearful prospect on the burst, was guilty of a handful of turnovers but he was not alone.

Jeremy Paul, the 72-times capped Australian hooker making his Gloucester debut, struggled to get his eye in at the line-out.

The Guinness Premiership leaders deployed their big men to run direct lines at the Falcons, clearing the way for Chris Paterson, Simpson-Daniel and Anthony Allen to turn on the style.

But the tenacious Falcons forced plenty of errors including a couple of costly knock-ons in front of Newcastle's posts and, aside a 15th-minute penalty to Paterson, Gloucester failed to breach their line.

With Flood getting quick ball moving through the visitors' back-line, they were able to counter-attack at pace and drilled Gloucester back into their own 22.

Under pressure, they conceded a penalty line-out five metres out and the Falcons mustered a sterling rolling maul to put hooker Matt Thompson over. Flood pulled the conversion and the visitors led 12-3 with two minutes remaining until half-time.

Storming back upfield from the restart, Simpson-Daniel cut inside Flood and offloaded, off-balance to Balshaw and he in turn to replacement winger James Bailey.

When he was tackled just short, Rory Lawson spun the ball left but Mark Foster could not stay infield as he crossed the whitewash.

Paterson's home debut was cut short three minutes into the second half when he was injured in a tackle and his replacement, Willie Walker, failed to get off the mark with his first penalty, but nailed his second.

Yet with Gloucester unable to turn their set-pieces into any useful positions and their scrappy defence giving up penalties, Flood added two more of his own to extend Newcastle's lead.

Gloucester finally organised themselves for a late rally, closing the gap when Simpson-Daniel skipped between Flood and Rudd in midfield and raced to the posts for the first of his two tries, with Walker converting.

The pace of the game escalated and Flood or Tom May should have put the game beyond doubt, Flood missing two drop-goal attempts and May fumbling on the tryline when clear through.

Then by means of their determined defence and attacking hunger, and a handful of penalties to help them on their way, Gloucester snatched a late leveller, with Simpson-Daniel again bursting over to score, but Walker unable to add the extra two points.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:

Tries: Simpson-Daniel 2

Con: Walker

Pens: Paterson, Walker

For Newcastle Falcons:

Tries: Phillips, Thompson

Con: Flood

Pens: Flood 2

Gloucester: 15 Iain Balshaw, 14 Karl Pryce, 13 James Simpson-Daniel, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Mark Foster, 10 Chris Paterson, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Adam Balding, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Will James, 4 Marco Bortolami (c), 3 Christian Califano, 2 Jeremy Paul, 1 Alasdair Dickinson,

Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Jack Forster, 18 Jonathan Pendlebury, 19 Luke Narraway, 20 Gareth Cooper, 21 Willie Walker, 22 James Bailey.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom May, 14 Ollie Phillips, 13 Tim Visser, 12 Steve Jones, 11 John Rudd, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Hall Charlton, 8 Russell Winter, 7 Brent Wilson, 6 Geoff Parling, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Andy Perry, 3 David Wilson, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Joe McDonnell (c)

Replacements: 16 Andy Long, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Jason Oakes, 19 Ed Williamson, 20 James Grindal, 21 Alex Tait, 22 Adam Dehaty

Referee: Brian Robertson (England)

Touch judges: Robin Goodliffe (England), Paul Dickens (England)

Television match official: Laurie Bryant (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
Argentina vs South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Preview
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , August 23
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Preview
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 23
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Preview
Bay Of Plenty vs TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province Kings
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00