Fixtures - Top Bar

European round-up: Hook inspires Gloucester Rugby into semi-finals

It was a strong defensive effort that made all the difference according to director of rugby David Humphreys after Gloucester Rugby saw off Connacht in their European Challenge Cup quarter-final.

Fly-half James Hook was in scintillating form as he created scores for Charlie Sharples and Billy Meakes in the first half at Kingsholm on Friday night.

The Irish province refused to roll over in the second half however, and a penalty try prompted a nervous finish as the Cherry & Whites had to dig in defensively to secure the victory.

And Humphreys singled out Hook and Matt Kvesic for special praise after his side set up a home semi-final and remain unbeaten in Europe this season.

“Ultimately our defence won us the game. After a five-day turnaround, we were very good in the first half but we tightened up in the second half and made a few errors,” he said.

"It was very nervy at the end and it was a massive relief to win but that's what knock-out rugby is all about. It's a reward for the amount of hard work we've put in this season."

"When James (Hook) plays well, we play well. We see them every week and both (Hook & Kvesic) are quality international players and therefore we'd love to see them represent their country again."

Gloucester now face Aviva Premiership Rugby rivals Exeter Chiefs or Newcastle Falcons in the semi-final at Kingsholm in a fortnight with Humphreys looking forward to the challenge.

"We are delighted to get another big game for Kingsholm. We are moving in the right direction and our results at Kingsholm have been improving since the New Year. We don't mind who we play as we should always be concerned about our own game."

Meanwhile, Connacht head coach Pat Lam could take plenty of positives from his side’s gritty display in adversity in the West Country. 

“I'm proud of the guys as they are a very young group who are very resilient and keep coming back," he said.

"Gloucester is always a tough place to come and they've got a lot of big-game players. We didn't exit well and gave away soft tries in the first half but at half-time the boys were determined to get back into it so we were much more ruthless after the restart."
 
 
Gloucester
Tries: Sharples, Meakes
Conversions: Laidlaw 2
 
Connacht
Tries: penalty
Conversions: Carty
 
Attendance: 14,236
Referee: Mathieu Raynal

 

Latest News

Don Armand targeting big final push with Exeter Chiefs

Don Armand insists Exeter Chiefs will make the most of time off to ensure they are in fine fettle for…

Don Armand

RFU Disciplinary: Bryce Heem

Bryce Heem of Worcester Warriors will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel this evening charged with tackling the jumper in…

Gloucester Rugby respond to rumours regarding Carl Fearns

Gloucester Rugby have today responded to a story in the French press alleging that Carl Fearns will not be joining…

Kingsholm

Chew Valley champing at the bit for Twickenham outing following Bath Rugby’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Lewis Kenyon and his Chew Valley U12s team were left grinning from ear to ear after securing a spot as part…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Christian Wade made the difference, according to director of rugby Dai Young, as Wasps booked their place in the Aviva…

Match Reaction: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has urged improvement from his side after they were given a scare by Worcester Warriors on…

Match Reaction: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Brad Barritt believes Saracens’ desire not to take their foot off the pedal proved the decisive factor as an eight-try…

Mark Bennett appointed RFU Head of Sport Science and Medicine

Mark Bennett is to join the Rugby Football Union (RFU) as Head of Sports Science and Medicine. Taking up the…

Match Report: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Chris Ashton scored twice to become the record scorer at Allianz Park as Saracens enjoyed a fruitful afternoon to keep…

Match Report: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps extended their advantage at the top of Aviva Premiership Rugby with a hard-fought victory over Worcester Warriors in an…