Henson injury overshadows Gloucester EDF victory

British and Irish Lions head coach Ian McGeechan was given cause for concern as Gloucester knocked holders Ospreys out of the Anglo-Welsh Cup with a 17-0 semi-final victory at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

Three potential squad members for this year’s Lions’ tour of South Africa all suffered injuries.

Wales international Gavin Henson went off in the first-half with an ankle problem and he was joined on the sidelines by fellow Osprey and Wales second-row Ian Gough.

Gloucester and England centre Mike Tindall also failed to last the distance.

McGeechan is due to announce his Lions squad on April 21.

The Ospreys dominated territory and possession in the first-half but the Welsh regional side couldn’t find a way through Gloucester’s defence.

And later on they didn’t help their own cause by declining the chance to kick at goal when awarded penalties.

Gloucester fly-half Ryan Lamb was the Ospreys chief tormentor, kicking penalties in the third and 43 minutes before a 68th minute drop-goal put the Cherry and Whites in front by two scores.

Lamb added another penalty before ex-England wing Iain Balshaw set the seal on victory with a try four minutes from time after he’d intercepted a pass from Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips inside Gloucester’s 22 before sprinting clear.

Ospreys outside-half James Hook missed with penalty attempts in the eighth and 20th minutes while wing star Shane Williams was restricted to the occasional break.

Gloucester, looking to lose their reputation as ‘chokers’ when it comes to winning major trophies, will face the winners of Saturday’s second semi-final between Cardiff and Northampton in the April 18 final at Twickenham.

Sapa-AFP Rugbyweek.com

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