Premiership: Newcastle Falcons 17-20 Gloucester - Billy Twelvetrees kicks winning penalty

Newcastle v Gloucester
Vereniki Goneva's try had put Newcastle 11-10 up early in the second half
Gallagher Premiership
Newcastle (6) 17
Try: Goneva Pens: Takulua 4
Gloucester (10) 20
Try: Slater, Morgan Con: Twelvetrees 2 Pens: Twelvetrees 2

Billy Twelvetrees kicked a late penalty to give Gloucester a 20-17 win at the Premiership's bottom club Newcastle.

Ed Slater's try on the stroke of half-time had the Cherry and Whites 10-6 in front at the break.

Falcons hit back through Vereniki Goneva's score and two Sonatane Takulua penalties, to add to his two first-half efforts, to lead 17-10.

But Ben Morgan crashed over to level the scores before Twelvetrees won it with his kick from the touchline.

Newcastle, who had won their previous two Premiership games against Bath and Northampton, piled on the pressure in the closing minutes to try to find a response but Gloucester's defence held firm before they turned over the ball and booted it out of play to end the game.

It means the Falcons remain bottom of the table at Christmas, but their losing bonus point leaves them just one point behind Worcester Warriors.

Third-placed Gloucester opened up an eight-point cushion between themselves and the chasing pack in the hunt for an end-of-season play-off place, as Wasps, in fourth, were beaten at home by Bath.

Twelvetrees had given the Cherry and Whites the lead in a tight first half with a long-range penalty.

But, after Takulua responded with two of his own, they looked destined to trail at the break until Slater burrowed over after a sustained spell of forward pressure.

Goneva raced in from 30 metres after Simon Hammersley's break immediately after half-time to edge Falcons in front and Takulua extended their lead from the tee.

Morgan capped another patient spell of pressure from the forward pack to level before Twelvetrees landed the winning kick.

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards told BBC Radio Newcastle:

"I felt we could have come away with something but you have to take your hat off to Gloucester, they're a good side.

"They've probably got a bit more strength in depth but the side we put out today was one that could have won.

"It was one of those games that could have gone either way and unfortunately it went their way by three points."

Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

"I'm pleased with the result and the fight that was out there.

"We showed good composure at the end not to give away a penalty but it definitely wasn't pretty and it didn't go according to plan on how we wanted to play.

"There were too many errors and too much indiscipline. Even when we did start the play we didn't have the same accuracy as we normally play with.

"But if you can get the win and you can grind it out then you have to be grateful for that."

Newcastle: Hammersley; Goneva, Harris, Matavesi, Tait; Flood (capt), Takulua; Lockwood, Cooper, Mulipola, Green, Cavubati, Graham, Hardie, M Wilson.

Replacements: McGuigan, Davison, D Wilson, Davidson, Burrows, Young, Connon, Arscott.

Gloucester: Woodward; Sharples, Twelvetrees, Hudson, Thorley; Williams, Braley; Hohneck, Visagie, Knight, Slater (capt), Mostert, Clarke, Ludlow, Morgan.

Replacements: Walker, McAllister, Balmain, Savage, Evans, Heinz, Trinder, Kriel.

Referee: Karl Dickson

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