Gloucester come from behind to beat Harlequins

Gloucester came from behind to beat current Aviva Premiership champions Harlequins 17-15 at Kingsholm on Friday.

The loss is Harlequins third Premiership loss in a row and the first time they have done so under Conor O’Shea who joined the club three years ago.

Gloucester were trailing 3-12 at half time but they hit back in the second half by scoring two tries to take the lead from the champions.

Harlequins won the Anglo Welsh LV Cup two weeks ago and a week later they failed to fire in the Premiership against Saracens and for this match they had a short turnaround which may have been behind their second half fade.

Roared on by the home crowd, Nigel Davies’ side drew level on points with fourth-placed
Saints, while Quins were left to consider whether their gamble to rest several
players was such a wise decision.

Davies made four changes to his Gloucester pack, introducing Koree Britton
for his first start of the season at hooker after impressive performances as
replacement during the year so far.

Lua Lokotui returned to the second-row, while Tom Savage and Akapusi Qera returned
to the back-row. The only change to the Gloucester backline saw Henry Trinder
replace Mike Tindall in the midfield.

With only a five day turnaround after the loss at Saracens last week, Conor
O’Shea made six changes to his starting line-up.

Ross Chisholm, George Lowe and Tom Casson came in to the backline, while up
front, Rob Buchanan, Olly Kohn and Luke Wallace joined the pack, with Joe Trayfoot
introduced as a late replacement for Tom Guest in the back row to make his first
Premiership start.

Gloucester were hampered early on with the loss of captain Jim Hamilton, limping
off to be replaced by Will James.

Buchanan earned Quins their first try of the night, charging through the Gloucester
defence to score in the corner.

Freddie Burns brought his side back with a penalty goal halfway through the
period, before Sam Smith was able to collect Evans’ clever chip over the defensive
line to race clear and add to Quins’ try tally.

The Cherry and Whites failed to reduce the arrears as the break approached,
with Burns missing a chance for a second penalty goal in the final minute of
the first period.

Charlie Sharples caused panic in the Quins defence, as his run deep into opposition
territory led to their first try of the game, with Jonny May eventually flying
over the line three minutes after the restart. With Burns converting, the gap
was down to two points, and it was game on.

Evans stretched his side’s lead with a simple penalty goal after 55 minutes,
but Joe Gray was yellow carded with 12 minutes remaining, giving Gloucester
the numerical advantage as they sought to overcome the deficit.

Qera took full advantage of the extra man, stretching over the line to draw
his side level, and with Burns converting, the Cherry and Whites took the lead
for the first time and they held on for the victory.

Final Score Gloucester 17 (3) Harlequins 15 (12)

Scorers

Gloucester
Tries – May, Orquera
Pen – Burns
Con – Burns 2
Drop –

Harlequins
Tries – Buchanan, Smith
Pen – Evans
Con – Evans
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee:
J P Doyle (59th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Kevin Stewart & Stuart Terheege.
TMO: Geoffrey Warren.

Teams

Gloucester Rugby

Rob Cook; Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May; Freddie Burns, Dan Robson; Dan Murphy, Koree Britton, Shaun Knight; Lua Lokotui, Jim Hamilton (capt); Tom Savage, Akapusi Qera, Sione Kal

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