Cherry and Whites waste chances
Gloucester miss out
Gloucester 15 Harlequins 22
Friday, November 14 2014 - 1845hrs

For the first half hour Gloucester almost completely dominated proceedings at Kingsholm however, crucially all they had to show for their early efforts were four well-struck penalty kicks from skipper Billy Twelvetrees but were quite unable to cross the Harlequins try line.
They did have one near miss when the TMO denied them a try but the hosts lost Rob Cook to injury in the process. Key chances were not turned into tries and although there was no shortage of spirit and effort the home side were left to rue their inability to score tries. Near misses don’t count.
The visitors had hardly got into the Gloucester half but when Quins at last got into home side territory thanks to a long kick ahead that was not cleared by the hosts’ scrambled defence this enabled the visitors to win the subsequent line out and drive Nick Easter over for the line from the rolling maul for first try of the match. Nick Evans added a penalty so at half time, instead of the home side having establised a comfortable lead, the match was finely poised with the score at 12-10 and you couldn’t help but think that the inability of the Cherry and Whites to capitalise on securing possession and territory would cost them dear.
So it was, as after the break it was the Londoners who looked the better side as the Gloucester defence was made to work hard as the visitors strong pack took control with their off-loading and driving maul increasing the pressure confining them to long periods stuck in their own half.
More driving play from the visitors’ pack took play close to the Gloucester line where Luke Wallace touched down by the posts allowing the easiest of conversions for Evans.

In marked contrast Twelvetrees missed his penalty attempts which could well have secured the result and although replacement Aled Thomas did add three points to narrow the gap to 15-17 the visitors had the final say when scrum half Karl Dickson took advantage to put in a sharp well judged cross-field kick that was snapped up by Charlie Walker to cross in the corner. Thankfully for Gloucester, they did get a losing bonus-point as Nick Evans’ attempted touchline conversion kick went wide and Kingsholm was left to reflect on what could and should have been.
At this time of year the Autumn internationals put additional pressure on all Premiership sides losing players to international call up and on this showing the Cherry and Whites have a fair bit on their plate. The loss of key front-line players such as James Hook and Greg Laidlaw in particular may well have cost Gloucester this game, whereas Quins managed the loss of their players much better.
The selection of Billy Twelvetrees out of position at outside half was clearly a calculated gamble that did not pay off but we shall never know if Gloucester could have been better served by playing a more experienced No. 10 such as Billy Burns or Aled Thomas but with little Premiership game time, was it a risk worth taking?
Harlequins just about deserved their first success at Kingsholm since 1999 but for the Cherry and Whites it serves to show that there is a lot more hard work to be done to build a truly strong competitive squad of players.
T.H. 15/11/2014

Pricey's Postscript -


Gloucester
Rob Cook;

Charlie Sharples, Billy Meakes, Mark Atkinson, Henry Purdy;
Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Dan Robson;
Nick Wood, Darren Dawidiuk, John Afoa;
Tom Palmer, James Hudson;
Tom Savage, Matt Kvesic, Ross Moriarty


Replacements -

Richard Hibbard, James Gibbons, Yann Thomas, Elliott Stooke, Gareth Evans,

Callum Braley, Aled Thomas, Dan Thomas

 
Pen:Twelvetrees (4), A.Thomas

Half-Time 12-10

Harlequins
Tries:
Easter, Wallace, Walker
Con: Evans (2)
Pen: Evans


Referee - Andrew Small

Attendance - 14,303

Gloucester Matches - Reports - Seasons 2001- 2014

Gloucester Matches - Match Reports v Harlequins

Gloucester Matches -
Record v Harlequins

Gloucester Matches -
Premiership Kingsholm Record

Gloucester Matches - Kingsholm Attendances