Gloucester paved the path another yard towards the playoffs with a bonus point victory over Harlequins. A dominant forward battle backed up with some silky backline moves set the tone for the visitors who never looked back.
Gloucester triumphant in physically dominant display
Harlequins started brightly under the sun at The Stoop. Some good wide ball allowed Nathan Earle and Ross Chisholm to put Gloucester on the back foot.
It was to be the visitors who got the first score when, following some neat work by Cipriani and Twelvetrees, Jason Woodward was allowed to run through Mike Brown’s tackle and score in the corner.
It took less than a minute for Gloucester to get their second when a huge carving break by Ollie Thorley set them on their way before some patient work allowed Ruan Ackermann to cross in the far corner.
The game opened up in the second quarter with both sides making sloppy mistakes to hand the ball over to the opposition. Only a Billy Twelvetrees penalty would be added to the score as Quins went in scoreless.
Half time: Harlequins 0-17 Gloucester
The second half started as a nervy affair. Neither side risking too much, but with Quins making two half time changes perhaps a lack of cohesion could be excused momentarily.
Gloucester got the first score of the half following a high tackle by Marchant. It saw him go to the bin and following the resulting lineout Gloucester spread the ball wide for Tom Marshall to score.
The bonus point was sealed when a five-metre scrum wheeled and left the blindside open for Willi Heinz to send Danny Cipriani in. Quins being thoroughly bullied across the park summed up with their scrum.
Only a late consolation score for Quins when Nathan Earle crossed the whitewash saved the nil.
A truly shocking performance, but one they can re-build from.
Full time: Harlequins 7-29 Gloucester
Harlequins: Mike Brown, Nathan Earle, Joe Marchant, Francis Saili, Ross Chisholm, James Lang, Dave Lewis, Alex Dombrandt, Chris Robshaw, Jack Clifford, James Horwill, Matt Symons, Will Collier, Elia Elia, Lewis Boyce. Replacements; Dave Ward, Joe Marler, Phil Swainston, George Merrick, James Chisholm, Niall Saunders, Marcus Smith, Alofa Alofa.
Gloucester: Jason Woodward, Tom Marshall, Billy Twelvetrees, Mark Atkinson, Ollie Thorley, Danny Cipriani, Willi Heinz, Ben Morgan, Jaco Kriel, Ruan Ackermann, Franco Mostert, Ed Slater, Fraser Balmain, James Hanson, Josh Hohneck. Replacements; Franco Marais, Kyle Traynor, Gareth Denman, Freddie Clarke, Lewis Ludlow, Callum Braley, Owen Williams, Matt Banahan.
”Main photo credit”