Gloucester kept alive their hopes of retaining the LV=Cup with a convincing 40-3 win over Cardiff at Kingsholm.
Gloucester had a stronger side with Henry Trinder, James Simpson-Daniel and a number of experienced forwards in their starting line-up and they dominated. Two splendid tries from star man Simpson-Daniel and 15 points from the boot of young Ryan Mills ensured a comfortable victory for the home side.
Cardiff fielded a much younger side but this was their third consecutive defeat in the competition, which has so far seen them fail to pick up a single point. They battled hard, especially in the third quarter, when they kept the scoreboard blank but three late tries from Gloucester ensured that the final score line was an accurate reflection of the game.
The Blues began brightly and took a second minute lead. Cory Allen made a neat break, Gloucester were then penalised allowing Ben Blair, on his return from injury after 15 months out, to kick a simple penalty.
Gloucester soon responded with a splendid try. Mills collected a Blair up and under and cleverly sent his three-quarters into action. Trinder found himself in space and the wing ran 45 metres to send the supporting Peter Buxton over for a try which Mills converted.
Mills extended Gloucester’s advantage with a 40-metre penalty but the home side were dealt a blow when No 8, Brett Deacon, was carried from the field.
In ideal playing conditions both teams favoured the running option but the next score again came from the boot as Mills added another penalty.
Gloucester appeared to have scored another try when Tom Voyce crossed the line but play was recalled for an earlier forward pass but the home side still went further ahead as England Under-20 outside half, Mills, kicked his third penalty.
After 34 minutes Gloucester deservedly scored their second try. From a line-out 22 metres out, Buxton drove into the heart of the visitors’ defence. The ball was swiftly recycled for Tim Molenaar to evade some weak Blues defence for the try which Mills failed to convert to leave the hosts with a healthy 21-3 half-time lead.
The more experienced Gloucester pack continued to dominate the set piece but simple handling errors prevented them from scoring further points before they received another injury setback when the impressive Trinder limped off.
For all their territorial supremacy it took Gloucester until the 63rd minute to score their third try thanks to a individual effort from Simpson- Daniel, who danced past three defenders to provide a moment of magic.
Within three minutes the wing went over again to collect his side’s bonus point. Simpson-Daniel was put in possession 20 metres out and again the Cardiff defence had no answers as he powered past them for the try which Mills converted.
The Blues were now having considerable difficulty in stemming the tide and they conceded another try from Andy Hazell, converted by Mills to emphasise Gloucester’s undoubted superiority.