Gloucester down Perpignan & qualify for Qtr finals

Gloucester secured a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter finals when they beat Perpignan 18-36 in their final Heineken Cup Pool Six clash at Stade Aime Giral on Sunday.

The result means that Gloucester stay alive in Europe as they finish in second place in Pool six and drop down to the second tier Amlin Challenge Cup.

2006 Amlin Challenge Cup winners Gloucester will have the chance to regain that trophy
when continental competition returns in the spring after they secured maximum
points in a 36-18 success in the south of France.

Gloucester ran in five tries in all to finish the pool stages on 14 points,
leapfrogging Pool 2 runners up Cardiff Blues in the process courtesy of their
better trying scoring record across all six fixtures.

A quarter-final spot seemed a distant dream after back-to-back home defeats
to Edinburgh and Munster but Gloucester left their best performance til last
to revive a disappointing season to date.

Shane Monahan scored twice for the visitors, with Jonny May, Charlie Sharples
and Ben Morgan also touching down and Freddie Burns kicking 11 points through
four conversions and a drop goal as he missed just once from the tee.

May set Gloucester on their way when he sliced through from fully 80 metres
with 13 minutes gone. The 23-year-old left four defenders in his wake after
picking up Sione Piukala’s dropped pass just inside the Gloucester 22, with
the Perpignan cover grasping at thin air thanks to May’s pace and balance.

Burns pushed the conversion attempt across the face of the posts but Gloucester
were 5-3 up after Tom Ecochard’s fourth-minute penalty had opened the scoring
for the hosts.

Perpignan were celebrating a try of their own after 18 minutes, though, when
Piukala powered through after David Marty’s well-timed pop left May flat footed.

Ecohord’s conversion from 10 metres to the right of the posts left Gloucester
with a 10-5 deficit at the end of the first quarter but they were back in front
by the half hour.

The pack went close with a series of carries wide on the right before Burns,
May and Rob Cook put Monahan over on the opposite touchline with 28 minutes
gone. Burns sent over a superb conversion to push Gloucester 12-10 ahead and
things got even better for Nigel Davies and co when Sharples finished off a
brilliant breakaway four minutes after Monahan had touched down for his first.

Gloucester pounced when former Wasps forward Dan Leo lost possession in the
visitors’ 22, with Burns and Billy Twelvetrees giving No8 Gareth Evans a hint
of a gap 15 metres from his own line. Evans showed a stunning turn of pace and
great awareness to cut in between two defenders before galloping towards the
Perpignan line. He could have stretched for the line himself but instead unselfishly
offloaded to Sharples who dotted down despite pressure from Joffrey Michel.

Burns again succeeded with the conversion from wide on the right in between
a brace of penalty misses from Ecohord and Gloucester took a 19-10 lead into
the interval.

Ecohord narrowed the gap to six points a minute after the restart but Gloucester
grabbed the bonus point try when Monahan dived over on the left after Dan Robson’s
quick-fire pass from a close-range ruck. Burns added the extras and Gloucester
were 13 points up at 26-13 and with the hard work seemingly done.

A Karl Chateau try after good work from Ecohord gave Perpignan hope of a comeback
two minutes past the hour but Gloucester never looked like letting things slip
in the final quarter. Instead, Burns slotted a drop goal to effectively seal
the win with a little over six minutes left and Morgan stretched over from a
five-metre scrum for a try converted by Burns at the death after Perpignan prop
George Jgenti saw yellow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.