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Match reaction: Gloucester Rugby 43 Ospreys 20

Match reaction: Gloucester Rugby 43 Ospreys 20

Seven tries from Gloucester Rugby helped keep their Anglo-Welsh Cup hopes alive in a thrilling contest over Ospreys.

With the match gripped at 12-12, the Cherry and Whites ran over five tries to blow away their Welsh opponents at the Kingsholm.

The result has put the West Country side above rivals Bath Rugby, who play Newcastle Falcons this weekend.

Man of the match – Ollie Thorley

The young winger has been a sensation for Gloucester this campaign and he proved yet again what a player he is becoming.

The 21-year-old was a constant menace for Ospreys and he continued to run at a weary defence all evening.

Thorley was eventually rewarded with a try after a long pass from Harry Purdy found the youngster in acres of space to cross the whitewash with ease.

Try of the match

Two tries in two minutes had the Kingsholm rocking and it was the second try which was the standout moment of the contest.

Great handling from Billy Burns found Callum Braley who was able to burst through the Ospreys defence before neatly offloading to the Mark Atkinson who had the simplest of dot downs.

Moment of the match

Two tries from Ospreys courtesy of Alex Jeffries, on his first start for the club, and Rueben Morgan-Williams had brought the Welsh side back into the contest.

Luke Price even kicked a penalty to put the visitors in front but Callum Braley’s decisive dot down three minutes later swung the pendulum back in Gloucester’s favour.

From then on, the Cherry and Whites dominated their opponents, running in four more tries on a thrilling evening.

What they said

Gloucester’s captain Freddie Clarke said:

“We came out with ambition to play and I think you could tell that from the first half.

“We weren’t clinical enough in the first half and we let them back into it. There is a lot experience in this team and fortunately we had enough to pull through and put in a good performance late on.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position, if we’re clinical enough then we’ve got the right game plan to execute it.

“It’s a great competition to bring players through and players who aren’t getting game time. It’s a competition we use as momentum for the Premiership. It’s been a great competition to blood some of the youngsters as well.

And Cherry and Whites academy coach Richard Whiffin added:

“It was massive to bounce back. We wanted to try and put as much of a show as we could for the fans and hopefully we repaid them a bit.

“At the break down they were a challenge and they were tackling well. We found it a tough team to break down. We probably played a bit too much in the first half but in the second half our forward pack got on top.

“We spoke all week about trying to play with a tempo and ambition and to get back to playing like we were earlier in the year.

“We felt the last four or five weeks that we’ve been a bit stuck from what Johan Ackermann wants and we’ve used the Anglo-Welsh Cup to get back to our attacking DNA and the confidence leading into the next Premiership fixtures.”

Social media reaction

This year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Final will be at the iconic Kingsholm Stadium, home of Gloucester Rugby, on Sunday 18 March. To buy tickets and be part of an unforgettable occasion click here

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