Premiership: Newcastle Falcons 27-39 Gloucester

Charlie Sharples
Gloucester lost 20-10 on their last visit to Kingston Park
Newcastle (3) 27
Try: Hammersley, Harris, McGuigan Con: Delany 3 Pen: Delany 2
Gloucester (27) 39
Try: Kvesic, Sharples Con: Twelvetrees Pen: Twelvetrees 9
Relive Friday's Premiership action

Billy Twelvetrees' boot proved the difference as Gloucester held off a second-half Newcastle fightback to kick off the Premiership season with a win.

Gloucester dominated the opening period, with tries from Matt Kvesic and Charlie Sharples, plus five Twelvetrees penalties giving them a 27-3 lead.

Simon Hammersley, Chris Harris and George McGuigan touched down to give Falcons hope of a famous comeback.

But four more Twelvetrees penalties steered the visitors to victory.

The result came in stark contrast to Gloucester's opening match 12 months ago, when they were thrashed 53-6 at then champions Northampton Saints.

Chris Harris (left)
Outside centre Chris Harris scored one of three second-half Newcastle Falcons tries

After four penalties from captain Twelvetrees gave the Cherry and Whites a 12-3 lead at Kingston Park, flanker Kvesic was on hand to finish Willi Heinz's break for the opening try.

Sharples added a second shortly after as the visitors raced into a commanding 24-3 lead inside 30 minutes.

The Falcons responded when good work from debutant Mike Delany set up both Hammersley and Harris for scores.

A well-worked driving maul then allowed McGuigan to reduce the deficit to 27-36 in the closing stages, but Twelvetrees' ninth penalty of the night secured victory for Gloucester.

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

"I'm delighted to have four points. Historically we haven't started the season particularly well and we haven't had a great record up in Newcastle.

"We knew that if we came up and we performed, we could win the game - with the players we've got and the squad we're starting to put together. I thought our first half was outstanding.

"We conceded two easy tries and all of a sudden a little bit of pressure started coming on - and credit to Newcastle - but I didn't think we were ever going to lose the game."

Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley; Catterick, Harris, Powell, Sinoti; Delany, Tipuna; Vickers, Lawson, Vea, Botha, Green, Mayhew, Welch (capt), Clever.

Replacements: McGuigan, Fry, Wilson, Furno, Hogg, Young, Willis, Penny.

Gloucester Rugby: Cook; Sharples, Meakes, Atkinson, Purdy; Twelvetrees (capt), Heinz; McAllister, Hibbard, Afoa; Savage, Stooke, Rowan, Kvesic, Ludlow.

Replacements: Lindsay, Thomas, Doran-Jones, Kalamafoni, Morgan, Braley, May, McColl.

Referee: Tom Foley (RFU)

Attendance: 5,049