M.Garvey, T.Fanolua(R.Todd), H.Paul, J.Simpson-Daniel
D.McRae, A. Gomarsall
T.Woodman, C.Collins, A.Deacon
A.Brown, M.Cornwell (A.Eustace)
J.Boer, J.Paramore, P.Buxton

Referee - N.Williams (Wales)

Back to List Next PagePaul points the way

Kingsholm Heineken Cup Saturday 10 January 2004
Gloucester 22 Munster 11


AN AWESOME ATMOSPHERE at Kingsholm saw Gloucester overcome Heineken Cup favourites Munster in a wonderfully entertaining contest.

     As a match it may have been short of tries but never short of passion or enterprise and endeavour, from two well organised sides who matched attack with terrific tackling and covering to provide a heart warming pulsating contest that made you feel good just to have been a spectator on a special day at a packed Kingsholm.
     Last year in Limerick Henry Paul, out of position at full back, had a most torrid time struggling to cope with a virtual non-stop barrage of ‘Garry Owens’ which ultimately set Munster on the way to a dramatic victory and condemned H.P. to much of the blame for Gloucester’s defeat.
     What a difference a year makes. This time H.P. was the man of the moment. So much improved as a player, confident and very much on form at the moment. Fourteen points from his boot, plus the crucial try making kick that set up James Simpson-Daniel with the chance to score what proved to be the match winner.
     A difficult wind, drizzle and a greasy ball made for testing playing conditions and was played at a frantic in a hurly burly first half.
     Not surprisingly Munster targeted Jon Goodridge with a barrage of early high kicks but the young full back proved to be more than equal to the challenge.
     The Cherry and Whites provided most of the enterprising rugby with a mixture of adventure and ambition but Munster’s cover defence and tackling held out as all too often the home side’s attacks were let down as they lost the ball in contact or failed to control the greasy ball.
     H.P. kicked Gloucester into an early lead but despite their appetite and ambitious attempts to score that was the only score they managed in the first half. Gloucester had a telling edge in the lineout where all too often, Munster’s throw missed the target and allowed the home side to seize the advantage.
     Somewhat surprisingly in the set pieces, even without Phil Vickery and Chris Fortey, Gloucester’s second choice front row were in the ascendancy . Duggie Woodman enjoyed a powerful time and young hooker Chris Collins came through the match against international standard opposition, with very much credit.
     One of fourteen Irish internationals in the Munster team, Ronan O’Gara kicked an easy penalty but then just before half time missed two not too difficult kicks which would have given them a flattering lead.


Despite their obvious superiority in possession and territory, Gloucester had not been able to put points on the board so it was all square at the interval. At the start of the second half O’Gara kicked another simple penalty to rub it in and put Munster in the lead against the run of play.
     However as the game progressed, Gloucester were able to do what Munster hadn’t been able to do - build up a period of possession and establish territory deep in the opposition half and in due course it told.
     Henry Paul, Gloucester’s influential three quarter began to make inroads and cause trouble for the Irishmen and from a delicate kick behind the Munster defence, super-sharp Sinbad was on the ball in a flash to dive over for the only try of the match.
     Gloucester monopolised proceedings and although they went close to scoring on several occasions no further tries were forthcoming. The remaining points coming from boot of H.P. who added more penalties to his successful conversion Munster had few forays into Gloucester territory but a late flurry of forward drives did lead to a try from winger Anthony Horgan.
     H.P. was not finished though as he added a late drop goal to set the seal on a fine Gloucester team effort and denied the visitors the chance of securing a bonus point. Gloucester’s all round display deserved the win and quite how they did not score more points is a bit of a mystery.
     Next week the exposed terraces of Thomond Park promise another severe trial for Gloucester. Memories of conceding more tries and points to Munster in Limerick, than in any previous game last season still causes sleepless nights.
     On that day Gloucester got just about everything wrong and thereafter the Cherry and Whites season faltered.
     Munster have never lost at Thomond Park and are very tough opposition for sure. Gloucester must play to their full potential to get a point let alone a win.
     Not impossible but very difficult!


     Points         Try: Simpson-Daniel      Drop Goal: Paul
                        Conv: Paul     Pens: Paul 4