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Gloucester steal win from Wasps

14 Mar 2009
Gloucester steal win from Wasps

Gloucester went four points clear at the top of the GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP after winning a tense affair at Kingsholm.

The game will be remembered for three outstanding first-half tries from ex-England stars but former England ace Josh Lewsey was carried off early with a leg injury, a worrying sign for his possible British Lions prospects.

Centre Olly Barkley booted Gloucester in front with an opening penalty but, after Lewsey was taken off after just 12 minutes, Danny Cipriani sparked into life.

With replacement Dave Walder moving to number 10 and Cipriani taking Lewsey’s place, outside centre Dominic Waldouck sent the 21-year-old on a dashing 40-metre run.

He was tackled within metres of the line but managed to get a pass to the right wing for Laclan Mitchell to cross and Walder to convert.

If that was good, though, something amazing will have to knock Gloucester’s opening touchdown from the top of the GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP Try of the Season Award.

Olly Morgan was put away on his own 22 by outstanding New Zealand fly-half Carlos Spencer and proceeded to race down the touchline, outstripping the covering Wasps defence and dummying to wing Iain Balshaw before diving full-length into the corner.

Two Walder penalties threatened to take Wasps into a half-time lead but Balshaw then followed Morgan into the same corner with another golden run from 40 metres to level matters at 13-13.

Walder and Barkley exchanged penalties before a fourth Walder kick, from in front of the posts, put Wasps 19-16 up.

But a powerful 10-minute spell from Gloucester took them into the lead.

They were camped on the Wasps line and the Londoners suffered the loss of French star Serge Betsen to the sin-bin for hands in a ruck.

Moments later Fijian back row Akapusi Qera, on as a blood replacement for number eight Gareth Delve, scored Gloucester’s third try with virtually his first touch after almost a year out with cruciate ligament damage.

The lead changed hands twice more as Walder landed his fifth penalty of the match and Barkley his third after a long period where Wasps defended heroically.

Wasps had their chance to win it at the end as they had Gloucester on the ropes on their own line but they failed to get possession with Walder sat in the pocket waiting for a drop-goal attempt.

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