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Gloucester Rugby 29 London Wasps 22

22 Sep 2012
Gloucester Rugby 29 London Wasps 22

Sione Kalamafoni celebrated his maiden Aviva Premiership start with his first Gloucester Rugby try as the Cherry and Whites got the better of London Wasps 29-22 at Kingsholm.

After James Simpson-Daniel had the home fans off their feet with a fantastic opening try, Tongan Kalamafoni soon followed him over the whitewash to put the home side in control in the first half.

Wasps immediately struck back through Elliot Daly before the interval and had the reliable boot of Stephen Jones to call upon, but Freddie Burns was equally as lethal and Gloucester avoided losing a fifth-straight home game for the first time since 1995.

After Kingsholm observed an impeccable minute silence for the sad passing of Nevin Spence and his father and brother last weekend, those in attendance were soon roaring as the game burst into action right from the off.

Right from Jones’ kick-off the hosts looked to attack with intent and Burns thought he had scored an early try despite Tim Payne hanging on to him, but the television referee disallowed it for a knock on.

And after seven minutes it got worse for the home side as Jones continued his 100 per cent record with the boot in a Wasps shirt as he knocked over a penalty after Gloucester were penalised for not rolling away.

But Burns levelled things right from the restart with a penalty of his own after following a great catch and drive from Henry Trinder.

Burns was then wide with his next penalty attempt on 19 minutes but made amends just moments later to put Gloucester into the lead for the first time.

And things got better just four minutes in as Simpson-Daniel scored a superb solo effort for the first try of the game, adding to his score in the victory over London Irish earlier in the season.

The wing collected the ball on the left touchline, cut inside and escaped the clutches of Joe Simpson before leaving two more Wasps defenders for dead before touching down, Burns adding the extras for a 13-3 lead.

And after 28 minutes Kingsholm were on their feet again as Kalamafoni grabbed his first Aviva Premiership try on his maiden start, showing clever and quick thinking from a ruck to take the ball himself and sprint over the whitewash, Burns again converting for a 20-3 lead.

But this finally woke Wasps up and they struck straight back as Gloucester failed to gather Jones’ restart, the visitors moving the ball from left to right before it found its way into the hands of Daly, the centre skipping past Trinder with some good footwork and racing away into the right corner.

Fly-half Jones superbly kicked the conversion from the tight angle but he was outshone by Tommy Bell with time up for half-time as he hit a mammoth 57 metre penalty to take the sides into break at 20-13 in Gloucester’s advantage.

Gloucester started the second half in similar fashion to the first and were soon on the scoresheet again with another delightful kick from a Burns penalty, but Jones replied with one of his own after 46 minutes to cut the deficit back to seven points.

The game of tit for tat continued just minutes later as Burns knocked over another three-pointer before Jones repeated the trick on 50 minutes to keep the scores ticking over.

Burns added another penalty five minutes later and things were made harder for the visitors just after the hour as Marco Wentzel, captain with Hugo Southwell out injured, was sin-binned for being offside.

Bell had a chance to get Wasps to within a converted try of their hosts but missed a penalty on 69 minutes, Burns also wide with an effort of his own moments later.

But Nick Robinson made no mistake for Wasps on 75 minutes to hand them a losing bonus point, but they have still not won on the road since beating Worcester Warriors 11 months ago.

For more news, try out Gloucester Rugby Match Report Wasps