Gloucester book place in Challenge Cup Final

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 06:36
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CHALLENGE CUP REPORT: Gloucester secured a place in the European Challenge Cup Final for the third time in four seasons with a 33-12 win at home to English rivals Newcastle on Friday.

The Cherry and Whites will now face either Welsh regional side Cardiff Blues or French club Pau in a Bilbao final on May 11, with Gloucester - last season's runners-up - looking to win European club Rugby Union's second-tier tournament for the first time since 2015.

Gloucester were 10 points ahead at the break thanks to tries from wing Tom Marshall and hooker Motu Matu'u after Scott Lawson crossed early on for Newcastle.

Flyhalf Billy Burns scored Gloucester's third try early in the second half, and despite Lawson's second score, the hosts sealed victory through substitute scrumhalf Ben Vellacott's late touchdown.

Former England centre Billy Twelvetrees kicked three penalties for Gloucester.

This result meant Newcastle have now lost all five of their Challenge Cup semifinals, but the priority for the northeast side is a place in the English title-deciding Premiership play-offs and qualification for the elite European Champions Cup.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: Marshall, Matu'u, Burns, Vellacott
Cons: Twelvetrees 2
Pens: Twelvetrees 3

For Newcastle:
Tries: Lawson 2
Con: Hodgson

Teams:

Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Henry Trinder, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Ed Slater (captain), 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Paddy McAllister.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 John Afoa, 19 Freddie Clarke, 20 Lewis Ludlow, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Andy Symons, 23 Charlie Sharples.

Newcastle: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Chris Harris, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Zach Kibirige, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Michael Young (captain), 8 Ryan Burrows, 7 Gary Graham, 6 Evan Olmstead, 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Calum Green, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Sam Lockwood.
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Rob Vickers, 18 Trevor Davison, 19 Will Witty, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Adam Radwan, 23 Tom Penny.

Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Pierre Brousset (France)
TMO: Éric Briquet-Campin (France)

Agence France-Presse

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