Throwback Thursday: Thorley helps Gloucester maul the Tigers
Two titans of Gallagher Premiership Rugby in Gloucester Rugby and Leicester Tigers go head to head at Welford Road on Saturday.
And in the build-up to the clash we have gone back in time to November of last year to take a look at the reverse match-up at Kingsholm.
Coming as it did during the Autumn Internationals – Johan Ackermann’s side were looking to establish themselves as firm top-four candidates.
While the Tigers were still coming together under the relatively newly-appointed Geordan Murphy.
The headline news at Kingsholm was the return of Danny Cipriani from suspension but by the end of the match his was not the name on everyone’s lips…
— Andrew Baldock (@balders2) November 17, 2018
Cipriani’s return certainly had a galvanising affect on the hosts in the first half as they raced into a 22-6 half-time lead.
They scored three first-half tries through Jason Woodward, Matt Banahan and Fraser Balmain – against his former club.
Tigers – who had won seven of the previous eight against the Cherry & Whites – were slow out of the blocks.
First Cipriani and Mark Atkinson combined to put Woodward over in the left corner before Banahan then dotted down in the opposite corner – the former Bath winger’s eighth career try against the Tigers.
Balmain burrowed over from close range on his birthday and the Cherry & Whites were totally dominant – Joe Ford’s two penalties all the Tigers had to show for their efforts.
After the break it was all about Ollie Thorley.
His dramatic final try will be a score of the season contender – more on that in a second – but his first score that secured the Gloucester bonus point should not be overlooked.
Have @thorlo ‘s wheels and wonder tries secured him your vote for Gallagher Premiership Player of the Month for November?
He’s on fire 🔥🔥 but is it enough to beat the rest of the competition in the #GallagherPrem?
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) December 5, 2018
It was stunning team move that ended in Thorley – only recently returned from injury – waltzing clear.
Mike Williams went over from a catch and drive to give Tigers faint hope before Thorley sent Kingsholm into raptures.
Ben Morgan began the move under his own posts, side-stepping into the clear and releasing his winger but Thorley was still inside his own half with plenty of men to beat.
But beat them he did, cutting back against the grain to leave defenders grasping at thin air and Kyle Eastmond firmly on his backside before the afterburners put him under the posts for one of the best tries of this, or indeed any other season.