Aviva Premiership round-up: Shortland helps Falcons seal priceless win


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The Independent Online

Newcastle beat London Irish 19-10 at home in the Premiership yesterday, to move within six points of Wasps at the foot of the table.

The Kiwi wing Ryan Shortland scored Newcastle's try, with an interception, as part of a second-half comeback that the Falcons achieved despite losing the lock Adriaan Fondse to a red card, for punching Delon Armitage. Armitage angered home supporters by appearing to exaggerate the effect of the blow, and by later appearing to deliver a forearm smash to the home centre James Fitzpatrick. Sailosi Tagicakibau scored a try for the Exiles; Newcastle's Jimmy Gopperth kicked a conversion, three penalties and a drop-goal to outdo Tom Homer, who kicked a penalty and a conversion for Irish.

Another rather tetchy match – Jim Hamilton and Ryan Caldwell were shown yellow cards after a massed brawl in the second minute – produced a 14-11 win for Gloucester against Bath at, or perhaps "in", given the state of the pitch at the Rec. The Cherry and Whites thus completed a double against their nearest and far from dearest rivals. Tom Biggs scored a try for Bath and Nick Wood scored one for Gloucester; Freddie Burns kicked two penalties for Gloucester and Ryan Mills one; Olly Barkley and Tom Heathcote kicked one each for Bath.

Harlequins squeezed past Worcester at the Stoop, winning 16-14 with a penalty try and 11 points from Nick Evans to a try by Miles Benjamin and nine points from Danny Gray.

In the RaboDirect Pro12, Munster survived trips to the sin-bin for Mick O'Driscoll and Simon Zebo to win 35-14 in Italy against Treviso. Zebo (twice), Danny Barnes and Johne Murphy scored tries; Ronan O'Gara kicked three conversions and three penalties. Fabio Semenzato and Cornelius van Zyl scored tries for Treviso.

In the west of Ireland, Connacht drew 13-13 with Glasgow; in south Wales,the Newport Gwent Dragons beat Edinburgh 21-10.