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Match reaction: Gloucester Rugby 15 Harlequins 22

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Harlequins boss Conor O’Shea hailed his side’s performance as the London club claimed a first Aviva Premiership Rugby win at Kingsholm since 1999.

Not since the days of Jason Leonard and Keith Wood have Quins stunned Kingsholm in the league but after tries from Nick Easter, Luke Wallace and Charlie Walker; O’Shea’s men left the West Country with an impressive win.

It could have been so different for Gloucester had returning England international Billy Twelvetrees landed a series of penalty attempts after the break but it wasn’t to be.

While after a shaky opening 30 minutes; Harlequins’ dominance upfront came to the fore, with two of their three tries coming courtesy of drives from the pack.     

O’Shea said: “I’m delighted with the win but we weren’t helped by a slow start and also the first two penalties of the evening being incorrectly awarded.

“The momentum shifter was a break by Charlie Walker down the wing. After that, they missed penalties, we missed opportunities but we got stronger as the game went on.

“This Harlequins group over the last five or six weeks is back where we need to be. We know we can still get better obviously. It’s also a tick in the box for Nick Easter as he has never won here in the league.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work mentally and we’re missing guys away with England but we’ve still got some senior guys out there who can read things.    

“The pitch was amazing considering the weather we have had and because of that the game was excellent.

“This is an amazing place to come, it’s a very hard place to win and for some of those younger guys it’s a massive thing for them because you need them to have experience. It’s not just about the older players having experience, wins like this give the younger guy’s belief.”

Gloucester boss David Humphreys was understandably frustrated his side had not come away with a win – particularly after dominating the first 40 minutes of the game.

But the Cherry and Whites management are refusing to press the panic button after an unlucky reverse, with Humphreys admitting the loss was difficult to take.

He said: “Nobody likes to stand here and talk about what went wrong after losing a game like that. We spoke at the beginning of the season about making Kingsholm a difficult place to come and to certain extent we did that.

“It’s very disappointing to have lost the game after the first 30 minutes or so we put in but you also have to give Harlequins credit as well. They put us under pressure and didn’t let us get away.

“There’s certainly disappointment from us that we didn’t bring any urgency after half-time, we talked about coming out and keeping the momentum but we weren’t able to keep the ball or enjoy any territory.

“And because of that we couldn’t keep the scoreboard moving and that’s very frustrating but again credit to Harlequins for that.”
 
Gloucester: Cook ( A Thomas 21); Sharples, Meakes, Atkinson, Purdy; Twelvetrees (capt), Robson (Braley 73); Wood (Thomas 73), Dawidiuk (Hibbard 73), Afoa; Palmer (Stooke 55), Hudson; Savage, Kvesic, Moriarty (Evans 52).
Replacements: Gibbons
 
Harlequins: Chisholm; Walker, Hopper, Lowe (Casson 73), Lindsay-Hague; Evans, Dickson; Lambert, Ward, Sinckler; Matthews, Robson; Trayfoot (Clifford 60), Wallace, Easter (capt).
Replacements: Buchanan, Marfo, Collier, Twomey, Burns, Swiel
 
Gloucester Rugby
Penalties: Twelvetrees 4, Thomas
 
Harlequins
Tries: Easter, Wallace, Walker
Conversion: Evans 2
Penalties: Evans
 
Referee: Andrew Small
Attendance: 14,303

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