Cherry and Whites' fifth successive league win
Bonus- point victory
Gloucester 39 London Irish 15
Saturday, 2 December, 2017. 1500hrs
The Cherry and Whites duly completed their expected victory over lowly London Irish with a five try win which brought them their fifth straight Premiership winning result.
However Gloucester did not provide the same control or intensity that was on show at Newcastle but it was enough to secure the points over their visitors who were virtually condemned to defeat by the red card for David Paice, issued for an unacceptable ugly 'no arms' tackle on skipper Willie Heinz which reduced them to 14 men just before half-time.
Gloucester in the past have been guilty of following up good performances with sub--standard showings and although much of their play was inaccurate with too many mistakes and missed opportunities, the hosts were too good to lose to an Exiles side bottom of the Premiership.
The hosts did exactly what they had to do and should have scored more but were let down at the end by a dose of white line fever which failed to penetrate desperate Irish defence.
The Exiles made a spirited start and had a score dis-allowed for a knock-on but Gloucester soon took advantage as Billy Burns made the key break to set up back row boy Lewis Ludlow to get the first try. Billy Twelvetrees converted. 7-0.
Both sides exchanged penalties before another Twelvetrees kick eased Gloucester in front 13-3 but were then let down by conceding too many penalties which ended with an Irish try from Du Plessis from a line out drive.13-8.
A couple of scuffles between the packs broke out before the impressive Burns took advantage of quick ball from a driving line out to squeeze over for a converted try. 20-8.
Then came the incident of high drama when Willie Heinz was felled by the off the ball tackle from Irish captain David Paice who received his marching orders from referee Ian Tempest and the red card meant the Exiles were really up against it for the second half.
Gloucester took full advantage of the extra man as the excellent Burns got their third converted try, before they eventually got their bonus-point try from a sharply taken score from an angled run allowed flanker Jake Polledri to cross under the posts. Twelvetrees added the extras. 34-8.
Gloucester mad a complete hash of trying to secure a high ball so lost possession and were promptly punished and made to pay as prop Paulo drove over for a converted try.
Play moved swiftly to the other end and a perfectly weighted cross-kick from Burns was gratefully accepted by Henry Purdy to catch and score.
Despite all the possession on the visitor's line in the final minutes, that was the final score as Gloucester's play was too inaccurate to make it pay. At least the bonus-point win was secured but much more exacting play will be needed to further succeed in the tougher New Year's Premiership encounters.
More from Mike
Not the most impressive performance from the Cherry and Whites but a bonus-point win is what counts, and although it was expected, these were the games Gloucester lost last season.
15. Tom Hudson, 14. Ollie Thorley, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Andy Symons, 11. Henry Purdy
10. Billy Burns, 9. Willi Heinz (capt);
1. Josh Hohneck, 2.James Hanson, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Jeremy Thrush;
6. Jake Pollderi , 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ruan Ackermann
16. Richard Hibbard, 17. Paddy McAllister, 18. Gareth Denman, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Will Safe,
21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Matt Scott, 23. Mark Atkinson
Unavailable for Selection
Fraser Balmain, Callum Braley, Tom Denton, Mariano Galarza, Tom Marshall, Motu Matu'u, Ben Morgan, Ross Moriarty, Val Rapava Ruskin , Jacob Rowan, Charlie Sharples, Ed Slater, Henry Trinder, Owen Williams, Jason Woodward
Top Tacklers v London Irish
Ludlow 14. Polledri 8, Savage 8. Ackerman 7. Burns 6, Hanson 6, Symons 6, Thrush 6. Hudson 5.
Referee: Ian Tempest
Tries: Ludlow, Burns (2), Polledri, Purdy
Con: Twelvetrees (4)
Pen: Twelvetrees (2)
BT - Extended Highlights
GLOUCESTER Matches - Match Reports - 2001-2017
GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm Premiership Home Record - 1987- 2017
GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm Premiership Attendances - 1996-2017
GLOUCESTER Matches - Premiership Playing Record v London Irish