Twelvetrees boot secures 29 crucial points as Gloucester beat Newcastle
Matt Kvesic and Charlie Sharples scored tries for the visitors in the first half
Simon Hammersley, Chris Harris and George MuGuigan cross for the Falcons after the break
Billy Twelvetrees boot proved the decisive factor for Gloucester as they defeated Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park in their Aviva Premiership opener on Friday night.
The result came in stark contrast to Gloucester’s opening match at the start of last season when they were thrashed 53-6 by the then reigning champions Northampton Saints at Kingsholm.
This game in a similar nature was quite horrific for the home fans in the first half as the Cherry and Whites dominated relentlessly, bullying the Falcons at the breakdown and scrum. This pressure caused repetitive infringements at the set-piece, which cost the hosts numerous penalties with the unforgiving Twelvetrees kicking five of them between the posts.
Tries from Matt Kvesic and Charlie Sharples added further gloss to the scoreboard for the visitors, with one conversion from the number 10 meaning Gloucester held a convincing 27-3 lead at half-time.
The hosts problem in the opening 40 minutes was uncomplicated; they couldn’t keep hold of the ball, and when they didn’t have it they couldn’t retain their discipline, particularly at the scrum. Add those factors together and it equals a pretty dreadful showing.
However, the Falcons stormed back after the restart with more drive and finally some belief in themselves when they had the ball in hand. In fact, they were displaying the exciting brand of rugby they’d demonstrated last season, and for their efforts crossed for three intelligently worked tries.
Simon Hammersley and Chris Harris with a swivel of a hips both glided through unchallenged to touch down between the posts before George MuGuigan under a pile of bodies forced the ball over for the hosts third try. Former All-Black Simon Delany, who had also kicked two penalties, converted all three tries to take his total on his Falcons debut to 12 points.
Despite out-scoring their West Country visitors by three tries to two, the impressive Twelvetrees guaranteed there would be no comeback for the Falcons by kicking four further penalties in the second half. These crucial points ensured Gloucester were heading back to the Midlands with the win on the opening day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Man of the Match: Billy Twelvetrees
The number 10 was the standout player on the night. He controlled the game with his composed presence and did well at unleashing Gloucester’s impressive back three. His goal kicking was overall splendid with two of his penalties coming from half way while in defence he stood strong and tackled firmly. An all round outstanding display.