Newcastle Falcons keep semi-final hope alive with 31-19 win over Gloucester

Kyle Cooper impressed for Newcastle
Kyle Cooper impressed for Newcastle
©Richard Sellers/PA

Newcastle Falcons 31 - 19 Gloucester Rugby, Kingston Park

Kyle Cooper scored two first-half tries as Newcastle Falcons have kept their hope of semi-final alive with a 31-19 victory over Gloucester in their Anglo-Welsh Cup encounter at Kingston Park on Saturday.

The win has taken Falcons to the top of Pool 4 with 15 points but they still will need to wait for the clash between Leicester Tigers and Wasps to confirm a berth in the top four.

Gloucester have already dropped out of contention for a play-off spot but they got off to a promising start when Ben Vellacott went past the line in the seventh minute and Owen Williams slotted the conversion.

Newcastle Falcons' response came in the 14th minute when Cooper scored a try of his own that was improved by Toby Flood. The hooker further upped the ante as he touched down for the second time in the 25th minute and three minutes later Mark Wilson also crossed over to make it 21-7.

With six minutes to go for the break, Gareth Evans scored the second try for the Cherry and Whites while Williams' conversion reduced the trail by seven points.

Any chance of a Gloucester comeback was put off by a 41st minute try from Alex Tait while Hodgson kicked a conversion and a penalty to make it 31-14.

Even though Falcons suffered a setback when Josh Matavesi was sin-binned in the 63rd minute and Gloucester made use of the numerical advantage that saw Matt Scott crash over the line but the final push that was needed by the visitors did not come as they succumbed to a 12 point defeat.

 
 

Anglo Welsh Cup 2017/18 - Points Table