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Richards rues missed opportunity

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards could not hide his disappointment after his side threw away a 40-23 lead to lose a thrilling game at Kingsholm to a last-minute try from Gloucester's Billy Burns.

That match winner from Burns was one of five for the hosts, with Billy Twelvetrees scoring and Dan Robson and Henry Purdy also touching down. Burns kicked three penalties and four conversions for a match tally of 22 points.

Mark Wilson, Sinoti Sinoti, Scott Lawson and Josh Furno scored the Falcons' tries with Rory Clegg converting all four and kicking four penalties, but the hosts prevailed 42-40.

"We felt we were in a with real shout, so it's very disappointing," Richards said."We gave them some easy points and, surprisingly, we tired a bit. Rory Clegg's kicking was impeccable and it's a pity that he missed that tackle at the end."

"We always knew they had the ability to come back and their impact players made a big difference. It was a good surface to play on and Gloucester are a good team to play against as they play attacking rugby."

Newcastle captain Will Welch, agreed with Richards.

"For 60 minutes it was a great performance, but we were out on our feet and dropped off tackles," he said.

"We could have controlled it better as we let it slip, which is the story of our season."

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys was a relieved man as he wanted to maintain momentum ahead of next week's European Challenge Cup final against Edinburgh.

"We sneaked a victory but we probably didn't deserve it," he said. "The first half was very disappointing as we may have been hung over from last week.

"The second half was much better and we showed some real composure late on as by the end we had all the momentum."

Gloucester's day was marred by injuries to Jonny May, Sione Kalamafoni and Dan Murphy - a major concern ahead of next Friday's final..

"The injuries are very hard to assess this early after the game, but we will know more after 48 hours," Humphreys added. "It's a huge day out for the club next week."

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