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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Newcastle could give Gloucester a fright at Kingsholm

Falcons will fancy chances of Challenge Cup final place

Joel Hodgson of Newcastle is tackled by AJ MacGinty and Josh Strauss of Sale
1 of 1

European Challenge Cup semi-final
BT Sport 3, 7.45pm Friday

Gloucester's European Challenge Cup pedigree – as two-time winners and last year’s runners-up – as well as a near full-strength team means they deserve to be favourites for this tasty semi-final with Newcastle.

However, the Falcons with a start of eight points still looks the value bet at a rocking Kingsholm.

Newcastle claimed a sixth Premiership away win in a West Country meeting last month and while they were woeful in defeat at Worcester a fortnight ago, spirits in their camp must be high after their stunning home success over Sale last Friday kept them in the running for a top-four spot.

It is hard to knock Newcastle’s cup form this campaign. They lead the Challenge Cup stats in succesful tackles and scoring tries after turnovers and were edged out at eventual winners Exeter in the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-finals after stunning Wasps at the Ricoh in the pool stages.

The Cherry & Whites are the tournament’s leading tryscorers and will be buzzing themselves after winning their quarter-final in Connacht though they lost 34-24 at home to Pau in round six.

This season’s Premiership meetings:
 Newcastle 7 Gloucester 29, Gloucester 20 Newcastle 21.

Newcastle +8
1pt Evs Betway

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Newcastle lead the Challenge Cup stats in succesful tackles and scoring tries after turnovers
E.W. Terms
Sky bet