Cherry and Whites' bonus-point win
Expensive victory
Gloucester 48 London Welsh 10
Saturday, February 21, 2015 - 1500hrs

The Cherry and Whites duly completed a six try bonus-point win over visitors London Welsh but the victory came at a cost as a trio of injuries dampened any celebrations as much as the heavy hail-storm that had turned the playing surface into a mud-bath.
Centre Henry Trinder lasted just about 10 minutes in his first start after four months on the side lines before being stretchered off with a serious looking leg injury. Star winger Charlie Sharples did not appear for the second half before the impressive Matt Kvesic also left the field with an arm injury.
Despite spirited opposition from Welsh the visitors looked a poor outfit - too many overweight or out of their depth players, fifteen successive defeats says it all - but fair play they never gave up trying.
It seems sad that promotion to the Premiership is decided by a play-off system that hinges on just two games at the end of the season. Very few Championship clubs have the facilities and financial resources to survive at top level with the notable exceptions of Bristol and Worcester. Perhaps a play-off between the bottom Premiership club and the top Championship club would be a better idea ?
It was a purposeful start from Gloucester and James Hook soon got the first points on the board but the hosts failed to secure possession from the restart and were penalised to give Welsh three points.
Hook added another penalty before Trinder’s unfortunate departure but replacement Mark Atkinson soon got things moving with a break that ended up with a converted try for Ross Moriarty. 13-3.
Gloucester’s second try was an absolute cracker as winger Charlie Sharples came off his wing to score under the posts for another seven points. 20-3.
The game had started in perfect conditions but deteriorated rapidly in the face of a violent hail-storm with wind and more rain turning the pitch into a virtual mud bath.
Welsh lost Alan Awcock to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on and Hook planted the penalty into the corner but there was no catch and drive as Matt Kvesic peeled off from the line out to crash over.
Welsh thought they had scored a try but unfortunately for them Dean Schofield lost possession on the line.
Scrum half live-wire Dan Robson was forced to take an unaccustomed place on the wing for the second half replacing Charlie Sharples as there were only two backs on the bench.
Welsh did raise their game and although there seemed to be a forward pass they scored their sole try through skipper Carl Kirwan.
However the hosts hit back when a shrewdly struck cross kick from the imposing James Hook was brilliantly gathered by Henry Purdy to score a great fourth try wide out well converted by Hook. 34-10.

Errors abounded in the muddy conditions with handling a bit of a lottery but the Cherry and Whites defied the conditions and the loss of Matt Kvesic with an arm injury before further scores from Purdy and then prop Sila Puafisi who crossed in the final minute.
James Hook showed just what Warren Gatland and Wales are missing with another conversion to cap a great all round performance in difficult conditions.

T.H. 22/2/2015

P.S. - Once the RWC is out of the way it is to be hoped that Glos Rugby will be able to update the Kingsholm playing area to a modern 'Desso' type surface. A million pound investment would ensure a top class pitch the equal of Twickenham and on a par with Exeter and Bristol.

Hopefully by then the debt incurred by construction of the Main Stand will be paid off so it would make sense to upgrade.

More London Welsh Photos - - -

Pricey's Postscript -
Gloucester had this game won after 15 minutes and indeed the final result should have resembled a cricket score but when you combine injuries, somewhat of a mud bath after the hailstorm and a dash of complacency 48 -10 was about right.
Poor old Henry Trinder first start since a long lay off and then carried off in the first 10 minutes. Mark Atkinson stepped up to the mark as his replacement and showed some good running and passing. For me, however the man of the match was Henry Purdy who had an exceptional game seeming to always make the correct decision. He ran the hard yards time and time again. He kicked well and ran good support lines and capped it off with a fine individual try.
London Welsh were a shambles and makes a mockery of promotion and relegation.
Is the Premiership better off with their promotion and Worcester’s relegation? Definitely not!

J.G.P.
21/02/2015

More from Mike -

Well, the expected 5 point win against a London Welsh side, who will probably be relegated without recording a win.

You have to say for a side that have been beaten week in week out they did try to play rugby more than can be said for Saracens, they were however blasted away in the first 20 minutes, and if it had not been for the hail storm, Glos may have run up nearer to 70 points.
A good all round performance with the stand out players being James Hook, Martin Atkinson and the man of the match Henry Purdy.
The only downsides were; what looked like a really nasty injury to Henry Trinder's leg, the non appearance of Charlie Sharples in the second half and an arm injury to Matt Kvesic, hopefully not all too bad but one has to fear that Trinder's season is over.
Next in line the Pests, at their new home in Coventry, a solid performance with strong defence will be needed if the Cherry & whites are to come away with anything and narrow the gap to 7th place.

Mike


Gloucester
Billy Burns;
Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Bill Meakes, Henry Purdy;
James Hook, Callum Braley;
Dan Murphy, Aleki Lutui, John Afoa;
Tom Savage (capt), James Hudson;
Ross Moriarty, Matt Kvesic, Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements -Darren Dawidiuk, Yann Thomas, Sila Puafisi, Elliott Stooke, Gareth Evans,
Dan Robson, Mark Atkinson, Jacob Rowan

Half-Time: 27-3

Tries: Moriarty, Sharples, Kvesic, Prdy (2), Puafisi
Con: Hook (6)
Pen: Hook (2)

Referee - Ian Tempest

Attendance - 12,940

Gloucester Matches - Reports - Seasons 2001- 2015

Gloucester Matches - Premiership - Kingsholm Record

Gloucester Matches - Premiership - Kingsholm Attendances