Gloucester secured a Challenge Cup quarter final spot last Friday during their victory over Agen. Now they’re looking at a top of the group clash to decide who has a home tie. Will it be Gloucester or Pau.
Gloucester Secure Quarter Final
Gloucester’s 45-24 victory away to Agen was enough to send them through to the quarter final stage of the European Challenge Cup. They now get set to face Pau in a top of the table clash this Friday. Henry Purdy’s brace of tries and 15 points from the boot of Owen Williams secured an impressive away win in France. This continues Gloucester’s bid to reach their second consecutive final.
The six try rout in South-West France was on from the get-go as Gloucester set about putting together some beautiful rugby. Quick thinking from Callum Braley eventually setting up the first of Purdy’s scores.
Gloucester were well on top up-front and deadly with ball in hand, and soon opened the gap to 21-0, but slowed slightly as the half went on.
Half Time: 5-28
Gloucester started the second half as quickly as the first, rapidly crossing the whitewash again for their fifth try. Owen Williams converted to keep his 100% kicking record up.
Agen then finally arrived and looked set to regain some pride going on a late charge. 17-38 with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Gloucester did rally late and put the game well out of reach and despite a late Agen bonus point, the result was never in doubt.
Read the full report here: http://www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk/rugby/matchcentre/14608.php
Key Tie Ahead As Knockout Stages Approach
Gloucester’s five point victory guarantees their spot amongst the eight quarter finalists, but only a victory over Pau this Friday at Kingsholm can secure a home tie. There are numerous fixtures that could await them following a win. Providing Gloucester take a bonus point win and Pau take no more than one losing bonus point, the Cherry and Whites will take a home tie in the next round. A 4-0 match point win will also suffice.
Here are the likely scenarios that await them in the next round.
Gloucester bonus point win: Guarantees a home tie against one of seven teams remaining in the mix, but most likely one of Bordeaux, Worcester or Stade Francais.
Gloucester win, no bonus point: If Pau gain two bonus points then Gloucester will be away in the quarter finals. As of now that would see them play Newcastle. If Pau gained one losing bonus point then it would go down to head to head which Pau currently lead following their 27-21 victory back in October. No bonus points for Pau will see Gloucester seal the home tie.
Pau victory, no Gloucester bonus points: Gloucester would get an away tie to one of Edinburgh, Pau, Newcastle or Connacht.
There’s still a lot to decide on who they will play, but a win would guarantee a home tie unless Pau manage something spectacular. A loss would see them away from home against a group winner, not including their group.
Gloucester fans can sit tight knowing they’re guaranteed a spot and are amongst Edinburgh, Pau, Connacht, Newcastle and the Cardiff Blues.
The seven teams fighting for the final two slots are: Bordeaux, Worcester, Stade Francais, Brive, London Irish, Sale and the Dragons. The latter four of which are most unlikely to pass through the group stages.
Gloucester Rugby are now on 21 points and have guaranteed a quarter-final place!
The Cherry & Whites will either be a best runner-up or depending on future results, Pool 3 winners. pic.twitter.com/Bpjctri22L
— Challenge Cup (@ERChallengeCup) 12 January 2018
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