Cherry and Whites' seven try romp
Gloucester thrash Worcester
Gloucester 55 Worcester 19
Saturday, 7 January, 2017. 1500hrs
The smiles on the faces of the Cherry and Whites faithful at the end of a one-sided match said it all. Following on from the frustrations of narrowly losing out to Northampton and Harlequins, this seven try, bonus-point rout of neighbours Worcester was a real tonic for for all involved at Kingsholm.
In the past clashes between the two sides have always been hard-fought, close run affairs but this time round Gloucester seized the initiative early on and made light of the heavy conditions underfoot as woeful Worcester were never in the game and look set for another struggle for Premiership survival.
The hosts set the tone with an early Greig Laidlaw penalty before the breakthrough try came from the ever industrious Jonny May converted by Laidlaw.
It got better for Gloucester as that man May put leading try scorer Matt Scott in for another converted try. 17-0.
Worcester briefly rallied and although Ryan Mills missed a penalty they tested the home side's defence before they cut the deficit through winger Cooper Vuna who snapped up a loose ball to thread his way through would be tacklers to score an excellent solo try. 17-7.
That was as good as it got for the visitors as Jacob Rowan took full advantage of some poor Worcester tackling for Gloucester's third converted try to ease into a comfortable lead before they lost Laidlaw through a head injury. Half-time 24-7.
After the break Billy Burns kicked a penalty before he too departed with a leg injury but young replacement scrum half Ben Vellacott added impressive pace and precision on his debut before the bonus-try was scored on the hour when Jeremy Thrush charged down the touchline and gave a smart pass to prop John Afoa who surged over from twenty yards to much celebration. Billy Twelvetrees became the third Gloucester player to provide a conversion . 34-7.
Any lingering doubts of a come-back by the visitors were firmly dispelled as Vellacott took full advantage of half-hearted tackling and despite slipping he set up Charlie Sharples to add a try in the corner. Twelvetrees added the extras. 41-7
Gloucester struck again as Matt Scott seized upon a loose pass inside the his own half to leave Worcester's defenders floundering in his wake to put 50 points within sight. 48-7.
Worcester did get something of a consolation score through Cavubati but Gloucester added to the scoring spree when prop Josh Hohneck drove over from close range before a visitors' score from Faosilvia that looked to have a forward pass involved, completed the scoring.
One swallow doesn't make a summer but it was good to actually enjoy a result rather than rue match officials' suspect decisions.
Perhaps that was why top referees were on parade at Kingsholm with Wayne Barnes in charge aided by assistant referees Luke Pearce and Tom Foley?
More from Mike -
Well, it's been a long time coming, some might even say long overdue.
Tries: May, Scott(2), Rowan, Afoa, Sharples, Hohneck
Con; Laidlaw 3, Twelvetrees 4
Pen: Laidlaw, Burns
15. Tom Marshall;
14.Charlie Sharples, 13. Matt Scott, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Jonny May;
10. Billy Burns, 9. Greig Laidlaw (capt);
1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. Salesi Ma'afu;
4. Tom Savage, 5. Jeremy Thrush;
6. Ross Moriarty, 7. Jacob Rowan, 8. Ben Morgan
16. Motu Matu'u, 17. Paddy McAllister, 18. John Afoa, 19. Joe Latta, 20. Lewis Ludlow,
21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Andy Symons, 23. David Halaifonua
Referee: Wayne Barnes