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Gloucester fight back to beat Fiji at Kingsholm


Gloucester left it late against Fiji

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Article Published: Wednesday 14 November 2012


Aviva Premiership Rugby Club Gloucester fought back from being 18-0 down after 33 minutes to beat Fiji 31-29 at at Kingsholm Stadium.

Fiji stole a breathtaking first half of running rugby by both sides, but Gloucester kept it tight in the second, earned two penalty tries and didn't grab the lead until 11 minutes to go.

Even then, Fiji had chances to win the thriller, but Gloucester hung on.

Fiji, 54-12 losers to England on Saturday, rebounded in style. Tries to hooker Tuapati Talemaitoga and winger Timoci Matanavou helped build an 18-0 lead.

Unable to stay with Fiji in the open, Gloucester changed tactics and was buoyed by a late first-half try to flanker Matt Cox that left the home side only eight points behind at the break.

Fiji scored first after the interval, Jonetani Ralulu's crosskick setting up a try for winger Watisoni Votu, but Gloucester hammered Fiji up front and drew yellow cards to Fiji replacement prop Penijamni Makutu, then No. 8 Nemani Naqusa. Both ended up watching their team concede penalty tries.

Gloucester trailed 26-24 with 16 minutes to go.

Ralulu's fourth penalty made it 29-24, but Gloucester kicked for the corner, drove the lineout and Koree Britton dived over to level.

Dan Robson's conversion gave them the lead. Fiji squandered their last chances, a long-range penalty and a five-meter attacking scrum.

Final Score Gloucester 31(10) Fiji 29 (18)

Scorers

Gloucester
Tries : Matt Cox, Koree Britton, Penalty Tries 2
Con: Dan Robson 4
Pen : Dan Robson

Fiji
Tries : Tuapati Talemaitaga, Timoci Matanavou, Watisoni Votu
Con : Jonetani Ralulu
Pen: Jonetani Ralulu 4

Teams

Gloucester

Martyn Thomas; Steph Reynolds, Drew Locke, Tim Molenaar, Ian Clark; Dan Robson, Dave Lewis; Yann Thomas, Koree Britton, Dario Chistolini; Will Graulich, Harry Casson; Ross Moriarty, Matt Cox, Peter Buxton (capt)

Replacements: Tommaso d'Apice, Dan Murphy, Tom Heard, Ed King, Ben Sparks, Brad Field, George Boulton, tbc

Fiji

Metuisila Talebula; Timoci Matanavou, Samu Wara, Josh Matavesi, Watisoni Votu; Jonetani Ralulu, Kelemedi Bola; Setefano Samoca, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Manasa Saulo; Apisolame Ratuniyarama, Sekonaia Kalou; Jovili Domolailai, Malakai Volau, Nemani Naqusa.

Replacements: Seremaia Naureure, Deacon Manu, Ratu Penijamni Makutu, Api Naikatini, Iliesa Ratuva, Nikola Matawalu, Ravai Fatiaki, Aisea Natoga.

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