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Match Report: Gloucester Rugby 26 Bristol Rugby 18

03 Dec 2016
Match Report: Gloucester Rugby 26 Bristol Rugby 18

Gloucester Rugby racked up four second-half tries to come from behind and beat local rivals Bristol Rugby at Kingsholm.

The visitors looked on track for their first Aviva Premiership Rugby league win of the season after a promising first-half performance and two Jason Woodward penalties saw them hold a six-point advantage over an out-of-sorts Gloucester.

But the Cherry and Whites came out invigorated after the restart with tries from Matt Scott, Willi Heinz and Henry Purdy, plus a penalty try, putting them in the driving seat for the win despite late efforts for Jack Wallace and Luke Arscott for the spirited visitors in the closing minutes.

After narrowly losing out to Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens last weekend, it was hosts Gloucester who looked to start strongly, with Mark Atkinson finding himself some space before failing to find a teammate while Ben Morgan enjoyed some early successful carries.

But it was Bristol who got the first points on the scoreboard on eight minutes when Gloucester were pinged for not rolling away at the ruck and Woodward dissected the posts.

The visitors had their tails up and, after enjoying sustained possession, opted to kick for the corner after being awarded a penalty.

But despite peppering their opponents’ line, they had to make do with just a second Woodward penalty on 17 minutes after Jacob Rowan was caught offside right in front of the posts.

Both teams were guilty of letting errors creep into their game and when play was bought back for an earlier infringement, James Hook had the chance to reduce the deficit with a penalty just outside the Bristol 22 but he shanked it wide.

To compound his misery he then spilled a relatively simple pass out wide right but fortunately for the Gloucester man, Bristol were unable to capitalise.

The hosts tried to rally again before half-time, winning a penalty and opting to kick for the corner but the impressive Bristol defence held firm before clearing the danger as the half-time whistle blew.

Whatever was said by David Humphreys at half-time however seemed to work as Gloucester came out firing in the second-half, scoring a try within two minutes of the restart.

It came from a stolen lineout close to Bristol’s own line with the ball eventually recycled out to half-time replacement Billy Twelvetrees who slipped in Scott to dart is way over the line. Hook converted and the hosts were 7-6 ahead.

One try soon became two as Gloucester went through the gears and after winning a scrum in front of the posts, Heinz capitalised on a crumbling Bristol defence to dive over, with Hook’s conversion making it 14-6.

All the pressure was now coming from the hosts and Gloucester’s power and strength told on 57 minutes when they were awarded a penalty try after Jamal Ford-Robinson was adjudged to have illegally dragged down the maul.

The Bristol prop was also handed a yellow card for his troubles with Hook adding the extras for 21-6.

The visitors were stunned but looked to have got a try themselves shortly after the hour mark when Billy Searle finished off a Jon Fisher break but the TMO ruled the Gloucester defence had been unfairly blocked and it was wiped out.

And their misery was compounded on 68 minutes when Purdy skipped through the challenges before reaching for the line and bringing up Gloucester’s bonus-point fourth try.

Bristol continued to fight until the final whistle and Arscott sent a cross field kick over for Wallace to gather for Bristol’s first try of the match on 79 minutes.

The clock was almost up but there was still time for the restart with Bristol’s late flurry continuing with a play out wide seeing Arscott dot down, with Woodward’s conversion taking the final score to 26-18.