Newcastle on cusp of Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final place
The Falcons will pay close attention to Wasps v Leicester on Sunday.
Newcastle planted one foot firmly in the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-finals with a 31-19 bonus-point victory over Gloucester at Kingston Park.
The Falcons did what they needed to do, wrapping up the bonus point just after half-time, and depending on the result of Sunday’s match between Wasps and Leicester it looks like Newcastle will visit Exeter in the last four as a result of tries scored.
Gloucester, out of the reckoning, made a fight of it and scored after just eight minutes with Newcastle looking off the pace.
Ben Morgan rumbled down the touchline virtually unopposed and his inside pass left a simple task for Ben Vellaco, with Owen Williams converting for 7-0.
But Newcastle hooker Kyle Cooper then grabbed two tries from close-range drives in the 15th and 26th minutes, Toby Flood and Joel Hodgson converting for 14-7.
Cooper was on fire and smashed through the Gloucester midfield for flanker Mark Wilson to snap up the ball for the Falcons’ third try, converted by Hodgson, just three minutes later.
Four minutes from the break, Gloucester made a spell of pressure count with a great penalty to the corner by Williams and Gareth Evans was driven over with the former converting for 21-14.
The bonus-point try arrived soon after half-time, with Vereniki Goneva and Josh Matavesi combining to put Alex Tait through and Hodgson converted before adding a 46th-minute penalty for 31-14.
Matt Scott screamed in for Gloucester’s third try with 15 minutes to go and Newcastle simply could not add to their tally in the closing minutes, with Gloucester in the ascendancy.