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Match report: London Irish 29 Gloucester Rugby 33

24 Mar 2018
Match report: London Irish 29 Gloucester Rugby 33

A fine brace from Tom Marshall helped Gloucester to their first away victory in Aviva Premiership Rugby since November as they downed London Irish 29-33.

Josh McNally and Piet van Zyl dotted down to give Irish a perfect start but two tries from Marshall and scores from James Hanson, Lewis Ludlow and Mark Atkinson put the visitors in command.

Theo Brophy Clews and Joe Cokanasiga crossed the whitewash late on but Gloucester held out to ensure Declan Kidney’s first game in charge of the Exiles ended in defeat.

James Marshall sunk an early penalty for the hosts and six minutes later a midfield maul did its magic as McNally was able to rumble over to help the Exiles into a 10-0 lead.

Things got even better for Kidney’s side as van Zyl produced a beautiful dummy to burrow his way through the base of the ruck and touchdown.

But Gloucester got back into the game and after building heavy pressure, Hanson was able to bundle over from close range.

Gloucester were now in the ascendancy and were soon over yet again, this time from Marshall as the visitors took advantage of an overlap to dot down their second.

Johan Ackermann’s side had started poorly but were now hitting top gear and hitting the front four minutes before the break as Ludlow finished off a fine team move, carving open the Irish backline to make it 17-19.

Gloucester continued to turn the screw as Atkinson was able to burst through the Irish defence before Marshall notched up his second with a sensational finish in the corner.

Brophy Clews then fired London Irish back into the contest with 15 minutes to go, darting his way to the line after a neat offload from Cokanasiga.

And Cokanasiga followed up his offload with a powerful finish from close range as the Exiles sensed a dramatic comeback with seven minutes remaining.
But Irish could not find a way over in the dying moments as they collected a losing bonus point.