Wilkinson injured as Gloucester’s Balshaw scores hat trick

Iain Balshaw scored a superb hat-trick as Gloucester ran out 39-23 winners over the Newcastle Falcons in the Guinness Premiership on Tuesday.

The visitors Newcastle took the lead in the third minute when star fly-half Jonny Wilkinson converted a tricky penalty.

Gloucester’s new signing Olly Barkley however hit back ten minutes later with a penalty of his own to make matters level at 3-3.

On 20 minutes, it was winger Balshaw who got the first try when he was played into space by fellow speedster James Simpson-Daniel.

Wilkinson then looked to put the Falcons back in the game with a long-range drop goal, but the World Cup winner just missed.

Newcastle were then dealt a massive blow as Wilkinson was forced off the pitch with an injury. Youngster Rory Clegg was brought on and he immediately delivered a penalty to make the score 8-6.

With three minutes remaining in the half Balshaw went over for his second of the night, but Barkley failed with the extra two points.

The Falcons then suffered their second injury of the half as Adam Balding appeared to have landed a concussion and was replaced by Russell Winter.

On the stroke of halftime Gloucester then got another penalty which Barkley kicked to make it 16-6.

Five minutes into the second period the Falcons reduced the deficit to just four points when hooker Matt Thompson crashed over for the five-pointer. Another Barkley penalty however made it 19-11.

Newcastle winger Tom May then went over in the corner to take the scores to 19-16 after the television match official was called into play.

Just after the hour the Cherry and Whites went on the attack but were thwarted by Steve Jones who gave away a cynical penalty straight in front of the poles.

The Falcons fullback was given ten minutes in the sin bin and Barkley proceeded to punish the visitors by converting the resulting penalty.

The man advantage opened the flood gates as Balshaw was able to complete his hat-trick before Simpson-Daniel also weighed in with two quick-fire tries of his own.

The visitors did manage a consolation try three minutes from time through Phil Dowson, but it proved too little as Gloucester held out for the victory.

Final Score Gloucester 39 – Newcastle 23


Tries: Iain Balshaw (3), Simpson-Daniel (2).
Conversion: Willie Walker.
Penalties: Olly Barkley (4)

Tries: Matt Thompson, Tom May, Phil Dowson.
Conversion: Rory Clegg.
Penalties: Jonny Wilkinson, Clegg


Gloucester: Olly Morgan; James Simpson-Daniel, Matthew Watkins, Mike Tindall (capt), Iain Balshaw; Olly Barkley, Gareth Cooper; Nick Wood, Scott Lawson, Alasdair Dickinson, Marco Bortolami, Alex Brown, Peter Buxton, Alasdair Strokosch, Luke Narraway.

Reps: Olivier Azam, David Young, Apo Satala, Andy Hazell, Rory Lawson, Willie Walker, Mark Foster.

Newcastle: Steve Jones, Tim Visser, Jamie Noon, Tom May, Ollie Phillips, Jonny Wilkinson, Hall Charlton, Micky Ward, Matt Thompson, Carl Hayman, Andy Perry, Mark Sorenson, Adam Balding, Ed Williamson, Phil Dowson (captain).

Replacements: Andy Long, Joe McDonnell, Tim Swinson, Russell Winter, Micky Young, Spencer Davey, Rory Clegg.



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