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European Round-Up: Gloucester Rugby secure top seeding

Director of rugby David Humphreys insists his Gloucester Rugby side are hitting top gear just in time for the European Rugby Challenge Cup knockout stages after cruising past Brive.

Matt Kvesic rumbled over following a line-out and Dan Robson touched down for his fourth try in five games as the Aviva Premiership Rugby side built a 17-6 half-time lead.

A penalty try after the interval extended that advantage and although Brive forced a penalty try of their own, Kvesic barrelled through two defenders to wrap up the bonus point and a 31-20 win.

The result means the Cherry & Whites booked their place as top seeds heading into the quarter-finals and became just the seventh team in Challenge Cup history to notch 29 points out of 30 in their pool.

And Humphreys was delighted with the professionalism shown by his troops to reach the targets set before the competition began.

“It’s job done,” explained Humphreys. “We started the competition firstly aiming to qualify for the quarter-finals, secondly to get a home quarter-final and to do it six out of six is a huge achievement for the group.

“It was all about getting the win and getting that top seed place. People talked about playing a dead rubber but we pride ourselves on performing wherever we go.

“We’re delighted to get a comfortable win in the end because coming to France is always difficult.

“Every team that comes here finds it tough but looking at Brive and Oyonnax, to have two bonus-point victories away speaks volumes of the performances.

“We got off to a good start – we created some good opportunities but didn’t take them.

“The second quarter was much better, we got some good set-piece ball, created some chances and took them.

“In the second half Brive created some of their own and had some pressure but credit to our defence, we worked very hard and players made some important tackles.”
 
Brive 20 Gloucester Rugby 31
 
Brive
 
Tries: penalty, Acquier
Conversions: Swanepoel, Bezy
Penalties: Swanepoel 2
Yellow cards: Bernard, Asieshvili
 
Gloucester Rugby
 
Tries: Kvesic 2, Robson, Penalty
Conversions: Hook 4
Penalty: Hook
Yellow cards: Halaifonua, Hook
 
Referee: Dudley Phillips
 
Brive: Sola (Veyssiere 62); Voretamaya, Galala, Swanepoel, Namy; Bezy, Neveu; Coetzee (Asieshvili 40), Acosta (Acquier 63), Barnard, Lebas, Boukerou (Pinet 40), Uanivi (Sanconnie 40), Hireche, Laurent
 
Gloucester Rugby: Hook; Halaifonua (Monahan 51), Atkinson, Twelvetrees (Meakes 56), Purdy (Braley 64); Burns, Robson; Thomas (Murphy 55), Dawidiuk (Lutui 62), Afoa (Knight 40), Stooke, Palmer (Hudson 52), Savage, Kvesic, Kalamafoni (Moriarty 63)

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