Gloucester fielded a strong side in their Anglo Welsh Cup tie at home to London Irish compared to their opponents who had 10 changes to their side. It was expected therefore that Gloucester would dominate London Irish.
Edgy Start from Both Sides
The first 20 minutes were littered by errors. Both sides with numerous knock-ons stunting any momentum they had in attack. A lot of breakdown penalties creeped in allowing both teams to have a chance at a line-out deep inside their opponents’ territory.
Gloucester then took the first chance of the game, with a penalty for offside resulting in a quick tap penalty by Willi Heinz who finished under the posts.
This was to be the start of a period of Gloucester pressure and five minutes later prop forward Val Rapava Ruskin crossed over the whitewash for his first try at the club. The conversion was missed and Gloucester extended their lead to twelve.
Before Gloucester could continue their momentum it was the visitors who pulled together some nice play, with a huge break through the middle. Heinz stopped the quick ball with a deliberate knock-on and despite the referee playing advantage, he came back and gave the skipper a yellow card.
Irish then knocked on, killing their chance.
Gloucester ended the half on top with a lovely try finished by Tom Hudson, following on from a big driving maul.
Half Time, Gloucester 19-0 London Irish
It was London Irish who started the second half the brightest, putting together their first real set of attacking phases. They were finally rewarded for their efforts. Tom Woolstencroft, driving over the line to get his team on the scoreboard.
Irish started to look healthy until Gloucester put together a set of scrums within five metres of the Irish try-line, eventually resulting in Thrush peeling away from a scrum to finish under the posts.
Less than two minutes later, some excellent Gloucester passing amongst their backs put Henry Trinder in, as he tight-rope walked along the touchline. Watched all the way by assistant referee, Greg Garner, who adjudged him to have stayed in play.
As the substitutes started flowing so did the points followed with two Barbarians style tries flying in. First Callum Braley, then Jake Polledri,whose try was started by hooker James Hanson.
Full Time Gloucester 47-7 London Irish
Gloucester : Val Rapava Ruskin, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa, Ed Slater, Jeremy Thrush, Jake Polledri, Jacob Rowan, Lewis Ludlow, Willi Heinz (C), Billy Burns, Ollie Thorley, Billy Twelvetrees, Henry Trinder, Henry Purdy, Tom Hudson. Replacements : James Hanson, Josh Hohneck, Gareth Denman, Tom Savage, Will Safe, Callum Braley, Lloyd Evans, Andy Symons.
London Irish : Tom Smallbone, Tom Woolstencroft, Ollie Hoskins, Will Lloyd, Jack Cooke, Josh Basham, Max Northcote-Green, Jake Schatz, Rory Brand, Theo Brophy Clews, Ben Loader, Luke McLean, Fergus Mulchrone (C), Ben Ransom, Greig Tonks. Replacements : Todd Gleave, Henry Elrington, Lovejoy Chawatama, Blair Cowan, Ben Donnell, Ben Meehan, Jacob Atkins, Matt Williams.
Referee :- Jack Makepeace
Assistant Referee’s :- Greg Garner and Sara Cox
Attendance :- 11,272
Main Photo Credit: