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Billy Twelvetrees makes ill-disciplined Newcastle pay the penalty

Published 16/10/2015

Billy Twelvetrees kicked nine penalties and a conversion
Billy Twelvetrees kicked nine penalties and a conversion

Newcastle's hopes of opening their Aviva Premiership campaign with a win for the first time since 2007 disappeared in a penalty-strewn 39-27 defeat to Gloucester at Kingston Park.

The Falcons consistently shot themselves in the foot by giving away a plethora of penalties and Gloucester skipper Billy Twelvetrees took full advantage with a 29-point haul.

Twelvetrees kicked nine penalties and a conversion as the Cherry and Whites ran in first-half tries through Matt Kvesic and Charlie Sharples.

Despite being outplayed and outgunned in the scrum for much of the game, Newcastle scored three second-half tries from Simon Hammersley, Chris Harris and George McGuigan.

Twelvetrees landed two early penalties before former New Zealand international Mike Delaney kicked one from halfway in the 12th minute to get the Falcons on the board.

Newcastle were in early trouble at the scrum losing their own put in twice and conceding a penalty just inside halfway in the 15th minute for Twelvetrees to make it 9-3 and he added another when Hammersley was penalised for not rolling away in the 18th minute.

The Falcons were well off the pace and it was no surprise when scrum-half Willi Heinz darted down the blind side of a ruck and flanker Kvesic was over in the corner with the Newcastle defence floundering for the Cherry and Whites to lead 17-3 after 25 minutes.

It didn't get any better for Dean Richards' side with centre Bill Meakes brushing off Ally Hogg's tackle in midfield and sending in Sharples for a classic winger's try, Twelvetrees converting for a 24-3 lead just on the half hour.

Newcaste finally roused themselves with Hogg blasting through with Scott Lawson in support and then a silky break by Delaney almost led to a score but prop Rob Vickers was swamped by the Gloucester cover 15 metres out.

The Falcons finished the half on the attack with Delaney prompting with some clever offloads and the forwards finally getting over the gain line but another cheap penalty conceded by Hogg when Delaney lost the ball forward in a tackle saw Twelvetrees take his personal tally to 17 points.

Gloucester immediately destroyed Newcastenat the first scrum of the second half and while Twelvtrees missed the kick at goal, Hammersley knocked on behind his own line to concede a five-metre scrum.

Newcastle immediately replaced their whole front row. It made little difference with Newcastle buckling again and Twevetrees kicked his sixth penalty in the 49th minute to make it 30-3.

It was something of a surprise Gloucester didn't got for the scrum again and a possible penalty try and when Hammersley broke clear from 30 metres out to score and Delaney converted to give the Falcons a glimmer of hope at 30-10, they probably wished they had.

The Falcons sensed they might have a chance and Hammersley, Hogg and Micky Young all made inroads and Delaney added a 55th-minute penalty for 30-13 but Henry Purdy had a chance to kill off the game after a weaving run by Sharples only for Newcastle's defence to somehow hold him up over the line.

It only delayed the inevitable with Newcastle folding again at the scrum and Twelvetrees kicked kicked his seventh penalty in the 58th minute.

Incredibly, Newcastle hit back again with another try, this time from Harris charging in from 30 metres and Delaney converting for 33-20 and yet again, Newcastle immediately conceded a penalty and Twelvetrees knocked it over for 36-20.

McGuigan was driven over for the Falcons third try and Delaney landed a fine conversion to make it 36-27 but Twelvetrees had the last word with his ninth penalty.

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