Cherry and Whites winning start
Pass master - Cipriani
Gloucester 27 Northampton 16
Saturday, 1 September 2018,1400hrs

Any lingering doubts concerning top star signing Danny Cipriani commitment to the Cherry and Whites were dispelled as the England international effectively ran the show to ensure the hosts deservedly claimed the spoils over a dogged Northampton team in their first Premiership encounter of the season.
The highlight of Cipriani's inspirational performance was a huge pass to set up wing Charlie Sharples for a scintillating score. Cips lost nothing in comparison with Wales' No 10 Dan Biggar who had a poor game, missing kicks at goal, fluffing re-starts and had only a part in a try saving tackle on Matt Banahan to remember from this encounter.
Although handicapped by two yellow cards, Gloucester's strength at the scrum put the Saints under continual pressure up front and helped force them to concede 21 penalties which saw Billy Twelvetrees notch up 17 points as he kept the scoreboard ticking over.

The Gloucester pack soon established ascendancy as Aussie hooker James Hanson was driven over from forward drive for the first try to add to Twelvetrees' earler penalty.
Twelvetrees and Biggar exchanged penalties before Saints' full back Tuala Ahsee provided a barn storming run in front of The Shed to provide Piers Francis with an unconverted try in the corner. 11-8.
Northampton then had the advantage of an extra man when Gloucester captain Ed Slater was yellow carded but although they pounded the home line they were unable to break the defence and had to settle for a penalty instead.
Two more penalties were exchanged before the class of Cipriani sent Kingsholm wild when he threw out an outrageous 21 metre pass to Charlie Sharples who juggled the ball to race over for Gloucester's second try five minutes before half-time. 21-11.
In comparison the second half became almost a non-event as a further penalty for Gloucester on the hour was quickly undone by a second yellow card as replacement full back Tom Hudson was sin-binned. This time the visitors did take advantage as Courtney Lawes was driven over from close range. Biggar again failed to convert.
A final Twelvetrees penalty comlpeted the scoring as the visitors were denied a try at the end for an offside offence by the TMO.
Gloucester were probably fairly satisfied with the result but that should not disguise the fact that there is a lot more hard work to be done despite this encouraging start to this long season.
One swallow doe not make a season!
T.H. 2/9/2018
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More from Mike
Well another season and like last year Gloucester open with a win, a little more comfortably achieved than last years against Exeter.
People were always going to be looking at the impact Danny Cipriani would have on the game and Gloucester in particular, and for most of the game he ran the show but personally I would say that the Man of The Match was Val Rapava Ruskin. Yes Cipriani brought the best out of the other 14 players but this is a team game and Glos performed as a team, with all players contributing to the start that all supporters wanted and needed.
There is still work to be done and still players to come into the mix, so things can only get better.
Onward and Upward at the Rec and those local rivals B***, they will be hurting from losing to Bristol, but wouldn't it be great if Matt Banahan scores the winning try. Dreaming again, we must remember the season is not one or two games it will be long and hard, but if the team can make Kingsholm, Castle Grimm a
gain and win all the home games the rest will fall into place.

Mike

Gloucester - Performance Rating 65%

15.Jason Woodward;
14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Henry Trinder,12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Matt Banahan;
10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Callum Braley.
1. Val Rapava Ruskin, 2. James Hanson, 3. Fraser Balmain;
4. Ed Slater (capt), 5. Mariano Galarza;
6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ben Morgan

Replacements:

16. Franco Marais, 17. Josh Hohneck, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Jake Polledri, 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Tom Hudson, 23. Owen Williams

Unavailable for selection:
Gareth Denman, Ruan Dreyer, Willi Heinz, Jaco Kriel, Tom Marshall, Paddy McAllister, Tom Savage, Ollie Thorley

Referee: Matt Carley

Att: 13,781
Scores:
Tries: Hanson, Sharples
Con: Twelvetrees
Pen: Twelvetrees (5)
Half-time: 21-11

BT - Highlights

GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm Premiership Home Record - 1987- 2018

GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm Premiership Attendances - 1996-2018

GLOUCESTER Matches - Premiership Record v Northampton

GLOUCESTER Matches - Match Reports v Northampton