Newcastle secure fine away win at Gloucester
Newcastle shook up the Aviva Premiership by gaining their first away win in the competition in two years as they beat Gloucester 18-13 at Kingsholm.
But director of rugby Dean Richards insisted the side, who lost by a single point to Leicester at home last Friday week, would keep their feet on the ground as they go sixth in the table overnight.
Centre Dominic Waldouck and wing Alex Tait scored Newcastle's tries, with fly-half Mike Delany kicking two penalties and a conversion against a solitary try by back row Ross Moriarity for Gloucester, with fly-half Billy Burns landing a penalty and conversion and replacement Greig Laidlaw adding another penalty.
Newcastle, who have struggled with Premiership survival for several seasons, had to withstand an onslaught of Gloucester pressure, particularly in the second half, and their defence was top draw.
Richards said: "I am pleased. We have come so close to winning away from home in the last year and have not quite achieved it.
"The mistakes we were making last year, we weren't making quite as many today.
"We are quite combative and will tackle our hearts out. If we take our chances, as we did today, we should be competitive with most people.
"Everyone put their body on the line today and if they (Gloucester) make a line-break, our scramble defence was good as well.
"We soaked up the pressure in the first 20 minutes of the second half and then hit back with the try (Tait's)."
And Richards added: "I thought that Leicester last week were a slightly stronger side but the boys will take heart from coming down to Kingsholm and winning.
"We looked at our opening games of the season and said there is no reason why we cannot win three or four out of those. In some ways, the boys are disappointed that they did not win against Leicester but they will take the plaudits from today."
In contrast, Gloucester, who beat Sale away last weekend, have now lost twice at home this season, and director of rugby David Humphreys could not hide his bitter disappointment at the loss which puts his side a place below the Falcons in the table.
The Cherry and Whites now head towards a battle royale with their arch rivals Bath at Kingsholm next Saturday, with the men from the Rec unbeaten ahead of Sunday's showdown at Leicester.
Humphreys said: "Today, we dominated territory and possession but then we dropped the ball and kicked the ball away. I'm bitterly disappointed.
"In this competition, these opportunities have to be taken and credit to Newcastle, they took their opportunities.
"Ultimately, we could not find a way to win the game. It is really frustrating because over the past two weeks, parts of our game have been very good.
"At key moments in the game, we lost line-outs when we could have put Newcastle under pressure. They defended and absorbed brilliantly."