Jake Polledri Stars in another Gloucester Home Win

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Gloucester Rugby are now the only Aviva Premiership team unbeaten at home this season. This comes after their 24-17 victory over Leicester Tigers, and Exeter’s defeat to Worcester. It was an entertaining game at Kingsholm, despite an error-strewn first 30 minutes and a scoreless last 20.

However it was the performance of Gloucester flanker Jake Polledri that caught the eye the most; he continued his turbo-charged rise in his first season as a Premiership player.

One Man Highlights Reel

Polledri was named man of the match on the Premiership Rugby website and you can watch his best bits from this match on the link.

His standout moment was bouncing off five Leicester tacklers before 130kg Logovi’i Mulipola finally wrestled him to the floor. This got the Kingsholm crowd going again, after they were stunned by Nick Malouf’s intercept try to put Leicester ahead.

All in all, Jake Polledri beat 10 defenders, made 62 meters and added 16 tackles (with only one missed). He also demonstrated his ball-handling ability for Henry Trinder’s first try, with quick hands in the line that released the Gloucester makeshift-winger.

From Third Division to International Rugby

It has been quite a year for Polledri, who was playing in National League One for Hartpury College as recently as April. He has now been called into the senior Italy squad for the Six Nations, alongside fellow Hartpury graduate Seb Negri.

Whilst Negri has since moved to Benetton and now been capped by the Azzurri, it is surely only a matter of time before Polledri follows suit.

The 22 year old from Bristol has in fact been pursuing a career with Italy for sometime now; for whom he qualifies through his father Peter Polledri. He featured in the 2015 U20 World Championship and Azzurri head coach Conor O’Shea clearly sees a future for him at international level.

It is worth remembering that Polledri has only played in seven Aviva Premiership games, starting five of them. His debut only came in October in the thrilling win against the ‘then league leaders’ Northampton Saints. However he featured in every European Challenge Cup Pool match, scoring two tries in those six matches.

Match Report: Gloucester 24 – Leicester Tigers 17

Back to the match yesterday, where Gloucester have put down another marker. Demonstrating their top four credentials, whilst the Tigers are struggling and are in serious danger of missing the play-offs.

This was still an impressive victory. The ‘Cherry and Whites’ kept their opponents scoreless throughout the second half until the very last kick of the game. Gloucester might have missed out on a try bonus point but, they didn’t need one to win the game. That is a big improvement from recent seasons, and ensures a top four position….for now.

Next week Gloucester have a tough trip to local rivals Worcester Warriors, who will be buoyed from their win at Exeter. A win at Sixways would really put Gloucester in pole position for the play-offs, before they host Wasps in two weeks’ time.

Leicester on the other hand, will be under immense pressure to beat Harlequins next week. They showed glimpses at Kingsholm of attacking ability; for example Joe Ford’s try. But they didn’t really trouble the try line at all in the second half.

How they could do with a character like Jake Polledri to grab the initiative and take the game to the opposition. He is certainly one of the future stars for Glaws, and may appear on the International stage sooner, after his stellar performance this weekend.

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