Newcastle 22-10 Gloucester: Flying Falcons continue to defy the odds as Adam Radwan’s 95-metre try seals the show at Kingston Park
- Newcastle Falcons continue to defy the odds as they beat Gloucester 22-10
- Rookie Adam Radwan scored a sensational 95-metre try in the fifth minute
- The Falcons are now third in the Premiership as Gloucester remain bottom
It was a good days’ work all round for Dean Richards. Having arrived at 7am to help shovel snow off the pitch, the Newcastle coach watched his side temporarily move to the top of the Premiership table.
After the CEO scraped ice from the advertising hoardings and the media manager spread salt across the car park, the players duly stuck to their side of the bargain with a victory in sub-zero conditions.
‘Some people were here at half four in the morning,’ said Richards. ‘I turned up a little bit after, following a bacon sandwich and a good nights’ sleep! The bulk of the shovelling was done on Friday by the non-squad players, who all wanted to get the game on. The team spirit is massive.’
Newcastle continue to defy the odds as they beat Gloucester 22-10 in the Premiership
Rookie Adam Radwan scored a sensational 95-metre try to lay foundations in the fifth minute
Attacking from turnover ball, he took on Jonny May and turned the England winger inside out
Everybody did their bit. None more so than rookie Adam Radwan, whose sensational 95-metre try lay the foundations in the fifth minute. Attacking from the turnover ball, he took on Jonny May and, showing his raw speed, turned the England and Gloucester winger inside out.
‘He’s one of the fastest guys I’ve ever played with,’ said team-mate and captain Mark Wilson.
The early score put Gloucester on course for another defeat, which leaves them bottom of the table. Their domestic form has been woeful, in contrast to Newcastle who continue to defy the odds.
‘I think every one of the reporters, bar none, made us favourites to be relegated again, which gave us a bit of motivation,’ admitted Richards.
May partly spared his blushes with a pick-and-go try for the visitors in a tricky afternoon
The hosts are not blessed with blockbuster Test stars. Instead, their success has been built off a reliable set-piece and a doggedness in the contact area.
The driving maul has been one of their most potent weapons and, in the early exchanges, they caught Gloucester by surprise by mixing up their line-out with no-lift throws and strike plays off the tail.
With 14 minutes on the clock, the forwards launched a dummy drive, before the backs attacked. They controlled possession through the phases and Matias Orlando found himself unmarked to score the second from the base of a ruck. However, Gloucester fought back. ‘We became a bit complacent,’ said Richards. ‘We lost our way from a discipline point of view.’
May partly spared his blushes with a pick-and-go try, although poor handling meant the Cherry and Whites struggled to launch their speedsters in the wide channels. Their ball was slow and the relentless defensive work of Wilson and Gary Graham came out on top.
Once again, Gloucester were left to rue missed chances as they remain bottom of the table
After the break, Lloyd Evans added a penalty as the No 10 continues to find his feet following the departure of Danny Cipriani. But, once again, Gloucester were left to rue missed chances.
‘We let the pressure valve off every time we had them camped on their own line,’ said Gloucester coach George Skivington.
Other than a 33-phase attack, which resulted in no points, Newcastle faded out of the game in the second and third quarter. They do not have the same attacking arsenal as their top-four rivals but, in the 15 minutes, they rediscovered their composure.
At his second attempt, Brett Connon edged the hosts ahead with a penalty. And in the final play, George McGuigan drove over to deny Gloucester a losing bonus point and leave Skivington’s side feeling the cold.
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