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Gloucester Rugby 48 London Welsh 10

21 Feb 2015
Gloucester Rugby 48 London Welsh 10

Henry Purdy grabbed a pair of second-half tries as Gloucester Rugby secured maximum points against Aviva Premiership Rugby bottom side London Welsh at Kingsholm.

The Cherry & Whites saw their winning start to 2015 ended last week with a narrow defeat at Welford Road but they jumped swiftly back on the horse here, Ross Moriarty and Charlie Sharples each dotting down inside the opening 20 minutes.

Matt Kvesic made it three soon after but Gloucester were then halted in their pursuit to pull well clear before the break.

Carl Kirwan crashed over as Justin Burnell’s men sought to fight back and add to their sole Aviva Premiership Rugby point this season.

However, Purdy made sure of the home side’s bonus point – before he doubled his tally and Sila Puafisi added the sixth – as Gloucester comfortably completed their third win against the Welsh Exiles this season.

Gloucester enjoyed plenty of early possession and when the pressure told James Hook sent a close-range penalty between the uprights to open the scoring.

Welsh almost hit back with a try but when they were stopped just short of the line and the Cherry & Whites were guilty of not rolling away, Will Robinson levelled things up.

The see-saw start continued but after Henry Trinder – making his first start since September – produced a sharp break he damaged his left ankle in the tackle, eventually leaving the pitch on a stretcher.

When play resumed Hook added his second penalty of the afternoon and this time Gloucester backed up their points with further pressure.

After several breaks for the line Moriarty powered his way through a gap, Hook’s conversion making it 13-3.

The Welsh fly-half was involved again soon, kicking a penalty up to the Welsh 22 before offloading neatly to Sharples to run in unchallenged for Gloucester’s second try and converting once more.

Welsh were reduced to 14 men after 25 minutes, Alan Awcock shown yellow for a deliberate knock-on, and the Cherry & Whites didn’t take long to capitalise.

Kvesic darted over unchallenged after a swiftly-spread lineout and Hook preserved his flawless record from the tee by adding the extras.

The Exiles began to find their feet on the half-hour mark and shortly after Awcock returned to the field, Dean Schofield looked to have grabbed their first try.

However, after consulting the TMO, referee Ian Tempest ruled the lock had fallen just short of the line – leaving Welsh 24 points behind at the break.

The visitors started the second half as they ended the first – nullifying much of Gloucester’s attacking threat – and grabbed that elusive try on 48 minutes, captain Kirwan burrowing over for Robinson to convert.

But Gloucester struck back to claim their bonus point five minutes later, Purdy claiming a high ball well before powering his way towards the line – Hook again converted.

The resulting 20 minutes passed largely without incident as deteriorating underfoot conditions – the product of a passing hailstorm earlier in the afternoon – conspired to limit both sides’ creativity.

That was until Purdy added his second of the afternoon five minutes from time, producing another powerful finish to scramble across the line.

Hook converted once more and after Puafisi barrelled over in the final minute to add some gloss to the scoreline, he repeated the feat.

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