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Clegg stars for Falcons

Rory Clegg booted 15 points as Newcastle claimed a 20-10 Aviva Premiership victory over Gloucester at a wet and windy Kingston Park.

Clegg overcame a difficult start, when he gifted the visitors a try in the opening minute, to find the target with five penalties while Sinoti Sinoti crossed the whitewash for the Falcons.

John Afoa scored Gloucester's try, which was converted by Bill Burns, but they struggled in the miserable conditions thereafter.

Clegg contributed to a dream Gloucester start when skipper Matt Kvesic charged down his attempted clearance kick after just 38 seconds and prop Afoa followed up to score, with Burns' conversion making it 7-0.

There was a long delay early on when Charlie Sharples took a heavy blow to the head and fortunately he was able to walk off and was replaced by Tom Isaacs.

Clegg clipped the post with a 45-metre penalty in the eighth minute but did find his range almost immediately afterwards when Gloucester went off their feet again.

And when the visitors dropped the scrum in the 16th minute, he slotted in between the sticks again.

Mike Blair's darting run drew yet another penalty for offside and Clegg edged the Falcons ahead 9-7 at half-time but Gloucester must have fancied their chances with the wind and rain at their backs in the second half.

But it was Clegg again kicking over a 42nd-minute penalty from 35 metres into that wind and rain to make it 12-7 after Gloucester conceded yet another penalty at the breakdown.

And Newcastle then took a real grip on the game when Juan Pablo Socino cut through, Ally Hogg rumbled on and then Clegg and Alex Tait set up Sinoti for a try in the 45th minute

Burns was short with a 50-metre shot but gave Gloucester a boost with a 56th-minute penalty for offside to make it 17-10.

But when former Falcons skipper James Hudson was sin-binned for an off the ball tackle, Clegg kicked his fifth penalty in the 63rd minute.

Burns hit the post with a penalty shortly afterwards and then Gloucester declined two kickable penalties in there last six minutes to go for the corner.

It proved the wrong option in the face of some determined Newcastle resistance.


From Belfast Telegraph