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Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 21 Newport Gwent Dragons 23

Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 21 Newport Gwent Dragons 23

David Humphreys admitted that Gloucester Rugby’s defeat to Newport Gwent Dragons in their European Challenge Cup quarter-final epitomised their struggles this season.

Charlie Davies’ late try for the Dragons sealed a 23-21 victory for the visitors to set up a Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Montpellier.

Defending champions Gloucester came into the clash off the back of four Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats in a row and their chances of qualifying for the Champions Cup next season now appear very slim.

Ben Morgan and Stevie McColl crossed for the hosts at Kingsholm but it was not enough in an inconsistent display.

“Today’s performance really summed up almost the last seven or eight months. We had a really good start, we wobbled a bit in the middle and had the chance to get back but we didn’t take it,” said Humphreys.

“It is unbelievably disappointing. It is the first time since I have been here that I have sensed the huge frustration from the supporters and everyone in the ground.

“In the two years I have been here, that was without doubt the lowest point. From five weeks ago, we were talking about where the team was going on the back of some big performances.

“For the last five weeks, we have not backed that up. My job and the management team’s job is to find out why that is and why we have not delivered after a pretty good start to the season.”

Ill discipline plagued Gloucester as Dorian Jones slotted five penalties and Carl Meyer added another from distance for the Dragons to set up Davies’ late killer blow.

And Humphreys added:  “We made some unbelievably bad mistakes, having down well to get ourselves back into the game at 18-11 down to 18-all.

“You do expect, with the experience of the players we have out there that we will go on to win the game. 

“It is fair to say that the Challenge Cup is obviously over (to qualify for the Champions Cup) and the league, then mathematically it may still be possible. When we sit back and reflect on this season, there is a huge sense of disappointment and a huge sense of anti-climax."

Meanwhile, Kingsley Jones was delighted with his Dragons after they picked up only their second away win of the season to knock out the defending champions.

Coach Jones said: "By winning away, we've got the monkey off our backs.

"We talked about putting pressure on them as they are on a bad run. We managed the game well and managed to get on the right side of the referee."

Try-scorer Davies added: It was a big call from our skipper (Lewis Evans) but we came here to win and we didn't want to settle for a draw.

"At first they defended the line-out well, even though we had put all our backs in. I then heard a call to go to the blind side and I used my size to get over.

"No-one backed us to win here but I'm elated to score the winning try and I'm very happy for the team as a whole."
 

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