IT certainly wasn’t the most
exciting or prettiest Premiership contest.
The match was a dire and dour affair with
the first half producing only 3 points. Henry Paul missed out
with two lengthy attempted penalty kicks. The strong swirling
wind did enough to make the difference between points and nothing
as one hit the post and the other narrowly missed.
Given the fact that Harlequins were in
second place in Zurich Premiership table going in to this match,
- how ever did they get to that position on this showing?- just
one place above Gloucester, it should have been a competitive
Any neutrals in the crowd must have been
disappointed with the offerings but for Gloucester fans the journey
was worthwhile. The first win away from Kingsholm this season
Three wins from the last three visits to The Stoop can’t be bad.
But for ‘Quins’ followers, many were so
disenchanted they began to make their exit long before the final
whistle. As one wag commented loudly ‘If there are any ‘Quins
supporters left would they please shout’!
Never mind the quality, just look at the
Even with the wind behind them and a reasonable
amount of possession Gloucester made little impact. Once again
too many moves were too lateral and predictable with only limited
penetration but newcomer Duncan McRae and H.P did began to show
signs of some enterprise as the game developed.
James Forrester and James Simpson Daniel
each made strong breaks but both became isolated and ran out of
support and the chances came to nothing.
‘Quins free scoring winger Ugo Moyne made
a strong run but was stopped in his tracks by Sinbad and left
the field shortly afterwards with a knee injury.
Eventually H.P slotted a penalty to give
the Cherry and Whites the lead. The visitors had their best chance
of scoring a try but skipper Jake Boer was forced into touch by
the corner flag at the end of a frustratingly unproductive first
DEFENCE UP TO THE TASK
With the wind at their backs Harlequins
were expected to crank up the pressure after the interval but
it just didn’t happen. Gloucester’s defence was well up to the
task. If it was not for that futile trip to Newcastle, the Cherry
and Whites could have the best defence in the Premiership.
Gloucester’s line out functioned better
than that of the home side and Henry Paul added a couple more
penalties whereas the normally reliable Paul Burke missed his
Eventually a try did materialise towards
the end of the game, when for the second week running centre Robert
Todd intercepted a loose pass to score. Paul converted and that
was the end of the scoring and virtually the end of the match.
Whether McRae will provide the cutting
edge required behind the scrum remains to be seen but there are
signs that with Henry Paul there could well be a combination that
should mean there are more points to come from the back division.