Henry Trinder made a try-scoring return to the Gloucester Rugby side as his double strike helped the home team to a convincing win over London Wasps in the LV= Cup.
The centre crossed twice in four first half minutes as the Cherry & Whites put their recent poor home form behind them to inflict just a second defeat on the visitors in their past ten games, Matt Cox also touching down twice.
Gloucester made a furious start to what was effectively a dead rubber, with both sides unable to progress to the next round of the competition.
Ryan Mills, restored to the first XV after a long-term injury, kicked off for the home side and when the ball came back to him threw a clever show and go only to be stopped inches from the line by Tom Howe.
Gloucester recycled the ball and went close through both Mills and Martyn Thomas, rumbling over the line from a five-metre lineout only for the referee to judge the ball had been held up.
A neat offload from Trinder sent Rob Cook charging clear but Wasps’ scramble defence just about managed to crowd him into touch.
Gloucester had a shot at goal on ten minutes as Wasps wandered offside but Cook missed the posts from around 30 metres.
But on 13 minutes it was 5-0, Mills chipping ahead for and the ball bouncing kindly for Trinder to touch down, although Cook sliced the conversion wide of the uprights.
It didn’t appear to hamper Gloucester, Trinder capitalising on spilt ball in midfield to race clear of the Wasps defence from 22 metres, Cook adding the extras for 12-0.
And on 20 minutes Wasps conceded another, dropping the ball again, No.8 Gareth Evans racing away only to be pulled down short of the line, the supporting Matt Cox burrowing over in the corner. A superb touchline conversion from Cook made it 19-0 and a long way back for the visitors.
But they gave themselves a chance on 24 minutes when a powerful maul took them up to the try line, Ashley Johnson flopping over the ball to claim the five-pointer, Joe Carlisle dragging his conversion wide.
For the rest of the half Wasps pushed for a second try but they went in at the break 22-5 down after a Cook penalty seconds before the interval.
At the start of the second period Gloucester introduced Bill Meakes in place of Trinder, the former Aussie Under-20 and Sevens star who has been playing for Clifton under his dual registration. And he started well, a jinking run on 45 minutes taking him past several defenders before he was brought down.
Both sides rang the changes around the hour mark but it was Gloucester who always looked the more likely, and Matt Cox finished off another rolling maul for the home side’s fourth try. Cook added the extras and with a quarter of the game to play Gloucester’s lead looked unassailable.
With nine minutes remaining young fly-half Lloyd Evans, on for Mills, stretched for the line only to lose the ball as he tried to ground it and the try went begging.
Any hope Wasps had of closing the gap evaporated when Chris Bell was yellow carded shortly afterwards following another Meakes break, Gloucester making the most of the man advantage with Dan Murphy running a clever line to power over from close range.
Cook converted the try to make it 36-5, before with time running out Johnson powered clear for the visitors only for the scoring pass to go to ground in a move that summed up their afternoon.
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