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Richards hails Falcons spirit

Dean Richards hailed the pluck of his Newcastle Falcons players after they dug deep for a 20-10 Premiership win against Gloucester at Kingston Park.

The home side battled back from a wretched start to see off the Cherry and Whites 20-10 in a penalty-strewn match.

"We're no pushovers now," said Newcastle boss Richards.

"Our defence was outstanding and showed the real character in this side.

"We played the conditions well and came back after their early try which was a bit of a reality check for us, and the early try we scored in the second half was vital."

Also vital was the kicking of Rory Clegg, who booted five of six penalties, making up for presenting Gloucester with a gift try in the first minute.

There was just 38 seconds on the clock when Matt Kvesic changed down Clegg's attempted clearance and prop John Afoa gleefully scored and Billy Burns converted.

Newcastle battled back to lead 9-7 at the break and Clegg sent over his fourth penalty in the 42nd minute. Three minutes later Juan Pablo Socino and Alex Tait set up a try for Sinoti Sinoti.

And when former Falcons skipper James Hudson was sin-binned for an off-the-ball tackle, Clegg kicked his fifth penalty.

Burns hit the post with a penalty shortly afterwards and Gloucester spurned two kickable penalties in the last six minutes, which would have given them a bonus point, choosing to go for the corner on both occasions. The visiting side's attempts to cross for a try came to nothing in the face of some fierce Newcastle tackling.

"It was surprising they didn't go for goal and a bonus point," added Richards, "but I can understand the reasoning."

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