Premiership: Newcastle Falcons 16-14 Gloucester
|Newcastle (7) 16|
|Try: Socino Con: Delany Pens: Hodgson 3|
|Gloucester (7) 14|
|Tries: May, Marshall Cons: Twelvetrees 2|
Joel Hodgson kicked a last-gasp penalty as Newcastle secured a dramatic victory over Gloucester in the Premiership.
The two sides were level at 7-7 at the break after England wing Jonny May cancelled out Juan Pablo Socino's try on the stroke of half-time.
Two Hodgson penalties either side of Tom Marshall's try for the visitors set up a grandstand finish.
And with Gloucester down to 14 men with Lloyd Evans in the sin-bin, Hodgson won it with the last kick of the game.
Evans was shown the yellow card for a high tackle on Hodgson as he chased and challenged for his own chip-kick with less than 10 minutes to play.
But it seemed as if Gloucester would hold on and move to within three points of sixth-placed Harlequins in the race for a Champions Cup place next season until they were penalised as their own scrum went backwards with seven seconds left and Hodgson kicked the resulting penalty.
Falcons remain ninth in the table after their eighth win of the season, a point behind Gloucester, whose losing bonus point means they now have a six-point gap between them and Quins, who face Saracens on Saturday.
Newcastle dominated the first half in terms of possession and territory, with Socino having a try ruled out by the Television Match Official only moments before he put the home side in front.
Gloucester were level on the stroke of half-time as May beat two defenders to score, before Marshall chased down his own kick to give them a 14-10 lead.
But Hodgson, on for Mike Delany at fly-half, cut the lead to a point before holding his nerve at the very end.
Newcastle director or rugby Dean Richards:
"It was good to win in injury time although it really shouldn't have got to that because we had the lion's share of possession and created a huge amount of chances but just couldn't produce the last pass.
"It just wasn't quite there and with two or three minutes left I was thinking we might rue missing those opportunities.
"It was frustrating, the lack of accuracy, and that's what we said to the boys at half-time, just try to be a bit more accurate in what we were trying to achieve.
"Some were saying the season would be petering out. We have no intention of letting that happen. We're intent on finishing seventh or sixth or even higher."
Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:
"To win rugby matches you've got to win and keep hold of the ball and we showed some glimpses in the first half of the threat that we had, but then we just couldn't get the ball and we spent the whole time defending.
"The only reason we gave ourselves a chance to win the game was unbelievable defence, courage and work-rate.
"To go into the last 10 seconds with our scrum, all we needed to do was get the ball in, get the ball out and we win the game but once again we failed to do that.
"That was probably our only scrum penalty of the night and to concede that with the very last play is hugely disappointing."
Newcastle: Tait; Goneva, C. Harris, Socino, Watson; Delany, Young; Vickers, Cooper, D. Wilson; Green, Olmstead; M. Wilson, Welch, Hogg.
Replacements: Lawson, B. Harris, Welsh, Witty, Chick, Takulua, Hodgson, Sinoti.
Gloucester: Marshall; Sharples, Trinder, Atkinson, May; Twelvetrees, Heinz (capt); McAllister, Matu'u, Afoa; Savage, Galarza; Kalamafoni, Rowan, Morgan.
Replacements: Hibbard, Thomas, Hohneck, Denton, Ludlow, Braley, Evans, Purdy.
Sin-bin: Evans (71)
Referee: Luke Pearce
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