Premiership Rugby Cup: Gloucester snatch late win against Northampton

Gloucester players celebrate their win over Northampton
Gloucester are second in pool three, one point behind Northampton, heading into the final round of fixtures

Gloucester kept their hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the Premiership Rugby Cup alive as a late try saw them beat Northampton Saints at Kingsholm.

Gerbrandt Grobler dived over in second-half stoppage time to level the scores, with Billy Twelvetrees' conversion sealing a 14-12 win in pool three.

Elsewhere, Newcastle moved to the top of pool one as they inflicted a third group defeat on Bath, winning 22-7.

Leicester suffered their third loss in pool two, losing 18-16 against Sale.

Gloucester fight back

Gloucester welcomed back club captain Willi Heinz, making his first appearance of the season after missing the start of the campaign with a calf injury, but Saints took the lead through Piers Francis' try following a good line break from George Furbank.

An interception score by Matt Banahan was converted by Twelvetrees to give the Cherry and Whites the lead at the break, but Corbus Reinach was quickest to pounce on Tom Collins' kick through to put Northampton back ahead in the second half, with James Grayson adding the extras.

But Grobler's dramatic late score, awarded following a consultation with the television match official, leaves the pool wide open.

A losing bonus point keeps Saints top, one point clear of Gloucester and five ahead of Bristol - who travel to Wasps on Sunday - heading into the final round of matches in 2019.

Falcons rise as Bath and Tigers exit

Newcastle put themselves in control of pool one, moving four points above Exeter, as they comfortably beat Bath at a wet and windy Kingston Park.

Tries from Micky Young, Simon Hammersley and Sinoti Sinoti gave them a 22-0 lead before Josh Bayliss notched a late consolation for the Blue, Black and Whites, who were eliminated from the tournament.

Elsewhere, a late penalty try for Sale Sharks denied Leicester a first pool win at Welford Road.

The Tigers fought back from 11-3 down, following Rob Webber's opening try for Sale, as Guy Thompson crossed on the stroke of half-time and Tom Hardwick added the conversion to give them a 13-11 lead.

A penalty from Hardwick stretched the hosts' lead, but Sale finished strongly and, after several Leicester infringements in their 22 and a yellow card for Tigers prop Facundo Gigena, the Sharks were awarded a penalty try which settled matters.

Despite being unable to qualify for the last four, Bath and Leicester could yet have a say in who progresses in the competition as they face Gloucester and Northampton respectively in next year's derby fixtures.

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