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London Irish 31 Gloucester 40

08 Sep 2012
London Irish 31 Gloucester 40

Freddie Burns kicked Gloucester Rugby to a pulsating 40-31 win over London Irish as they avenged last season’s final-day defeat at the Madejski Stadium.

Burns was in impressive form with the boot all afternoon long, contributing 25 points as the Exiles were forced to taste a second consecutive Aviva Premiership defeat.

Gloucester had not left Reading with a win since November 2006 and Irish thumped the Cherry & Whites 52-18 last May to conclude the season.

However, Burns was deadly from the kicking tee throughout and three tries from James Simpson-Daniel, Akapusi Qera and Ben Morgan saw Gloucester bag their first win of the season.

The Exiles were on the end of a 40-3 thrashing by Saracens at Twickenham last week and are still searching for their first points of the campaign.

Despite adding defensive guru Shaun Edwards to the coaching staff the Gloucester defeat means Irish have conceded 80 points in their opening two forays into Aviva Premiership action.

Gloucester, who lost at home to Northampton Saints last week, conceded a penalty as Irish raced out of the blocks, with Steven Shingler easily slotting the three points.

That stunned the visitors into action and they earned themselves a penalty of their own which Burns coolly converted to level the contest on eight minutes.

But the home side counter-attacked and moments later Shingler landed his second penalty to restore the lead for the Exiles.

On 21 minutes Irish extended their lead with a Topsy Ojo try. Sailosi Tagicakibau had a big hand in the build up before offloading to Tom Homer, who released the rampaging Ojo to cross.

Shingler missed the conversion and Gloucester immediately reduced the deficit with the unerring Burns kicking two more penalties.

On the cusp of half-time Ben Morgan powered through three weak challenges and crashed over the whitewash. Burns added the extras and Gloucester led 16-14 at half-time.

Irish came storming out at the start of the second half and substitute Halani Aulika made a barnstorming run down the left flank to crash over after Burns kicked another three points.

However, despite the last 11 Premiership clashes between the two sides going with the home side, Gloucester kicked on again.

Burns added another hat-trick of penalties before Tomas O’Leary put the home side back in front following a fluid attack.

But when Simpson-Daniel finished a brilliant attack for the away side on 71 minutes the victory looked all but theirs before Qera put the result beyond doubt with Gloucester’s third try of the afternoon four minutes later.