Aviva Premiership: Gloucester beat Newcastle Falcons in try-fest
Last Updated: 22/03/14 6:11pm
Sione Kalamafoni: Scored the first try of a high-scoring contest
Full-back Rob Cook scored 20 points as Gloucester clinched a 40-33 Aviva Premiership victory over Newcastle at Kingsholm.
The Cherry and Whites hung on to take the spoils in a 10-try thriller but the struggling Falcons did manage to come away with two important bonus points.
Cook scored one of Gloucester's five tries while kicking three penalties and three conversions for the hosts, who at one stage held a 30-point lead.
Flanker Sione Kalamafoni, lock James Hudson, centre Mike Tindall and wing Jonny May got the others but a resurgent Newcastle would end up matching Gloucester's try tally.
Gloucester did not do themselves any favours when Hudson was sin-binned early on as he illegally ploughed into the back of a Newcastle attacking ruck 10 metres out.
But the Falcons failed to take advantage of their one-man advantage and Gloucester took the lead instead when Kalamafoni was stopped under a ruck a metre short but was able to stretch his arm out and touch the ball over the Newcastle line.
Newcastle then exerted some pressure but poor handling and a resourceful defence kept them out until Chris Yorke finally made the breakthrough after a long pass found him in space to jog over unopposed.
Phil Godman's conversion levelled the match but the equality did not last long as the hosts struck just before the half-hour when Cook finished off a sweeping move inside the Newcastle 22 and added the extra points himself.
When Newcastle infringed just outside their own 22, Cook slotted over the resulting penalty to extend the Gloucester lead to 17-7 at the break.
Newcastle's chances of getting anything from the match, even a losing bonus point, were looking grim just 10 minutes into the second half as another Cook penalty and then a charge-down try from Hudson, which Cook converted, took the lead to 20 points.
Cook then set up a Tindall try to give Gloucester their bonus point, before the full-back also delivered the final pass for England international May to finish off a fine move.
It was all going perfectly for Gloucester but the Cherry and Whites subsequently lost their composure and Newcastle came roaring back into the match.
The Falcons whittled a 30-point deficit down to just 11 within nine minutes as George McGuigan, Andy Saull and then Alex Tait went over for tries. The latter evaded some loose defence to touch down for the score which gave the Falcons a try-bonus point.
A mistake just outside the Newcastle 22 saw Cook land his third penalty as Gloucester hit 40 points but in the closing stages Noah Cato went over on the right and Joel Hodgson's touchline conversion earned a valuable second bonus point for the visitors.