Cherry and Whites miss crucial chances
Gloucester hold out
Gloucester 24 Exeter 17
Friday, 15 February 2019, 1945hrs

Back in Premiership action at Kingsholm after a lean losing spell but now with the welcome return of several players from long-term injuries, the Cherry and Whites pulled off a dramatic win over a strong table-topping Exeter team, who it must be said, were without a handful of their England internationals.
In a close encounter of a match in which there was never more than a score separating the two sides, Gloucester were almost made to pay the price for missing out on earlier scoring chances which could have earned them a bonus-point.
However Exeter pushed the hosts right to the wire in the final nail-biting minutes with intense pressure on the Gloucester line but somehow the defence held out to limit the visitors to a solitary losing bonus-point as the Cherry and Whites deservedly took the spoils.

The opening exchanges were restricted to a lengthy exchange of kicking before some running rugby took over before the visitors made the first impression with a trade mark penalty kicked to the corner followed up by a line out drive which was checked by the Gloucester but their defence was caught napping allowing scum half Nic White to exploit a yawning gap with ease to score the first try converted by Joe Simmonds.
Billy Twelvetrees kicked a penalty and although scoring opportunities were created by Gloucester they came to nothing before they eventually claimed a try as winger Olly Thorley soared to catch a Danny Cipriani high kick and off-loaded to Jason Woodward who managed to hang on to the ball to score in the corner. Twelvetrees converted from the touchline.10-7.

Although Gloucester went close a couple more times but were denied another try and the first-half ended with no further scores.
Exeter had scored with their first real chance whereas in marked contrast the hosts had failed to come away with points from their handful of chances.
Frustratingly for Gloucester it was Exeter who scored the first points of the second period electing for a Simmonds' penalty rather than a kick for the corner to level the scores. 10-10.
Gloucester's pack set up Willi Heinz who forced his way over from close range for a converted try and continued to push forward as Thorley went so very close but the ball was dislodged from his grasp on the line.
Exeter made the hosts pay for missed chances as from a line-out Matt Kvesic drew the cover to set up Tom O'Flaherty for a simple converted try to level the scores.17-17.
Twelvetrees missed a couple of shots at goal and it looked as though it would be another game that got away before a Gloucester clearance kick was partly charged down but Thorley sharply seized the loose ball and this time the support was on hand before the ball was worked out for Ben Morgan to cross for an excellent decisive team try converted by Twelvetrees. 24-17.
With just a couple of minutes to go there was another dramatic twist to the match as although Gloucester secured the restart, they were penalised as they tried to run the clock down and the inevitable line-out catch and drive from the Exeter pack saw the visitors camped on hosts' line but somehow the Cherry and Whites defence managed to hold out with a superb effort. Normal breathing was resumed as the crowd celebrated.
An improved display but still some way to go for a top performance.
T.H. 16/2/2018

More from Mike

Normal service was resumed at Kingsholm last night with a terrific win against Exeter. 

It was good to see players returning to the team and with others set to return in the coming weeks, things are on the up. 
Although a little ring rusty at times there was plenty of promise for the remaing fixtures. 


15.Jason Woodward; 14. Tom Marshall, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Ollie Thorley;
10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Willi Heinz (capt);
1.Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Freddie Clarke, 7. Ruan Ackermann, 8. Ben Morgan


16. James Hanson, 17. Paddy McAllister, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Gerbrandt Grobler, 20. Lewis Ludlow, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Matt Banahan

Unavailable for selection:

Ruan Dreyer, Todd Gleave, Tom Hudson, Jaco Kriel, Jake Polledri, Henry Purdy, Val Rapava Ruskin, Charlie Sharples

Att: 13,658
Tries: Woodward, Heinz, Morgan
Con: Twelvetrees (3)
Pen: Twelvetrees

Half-time: 10-7

BT -

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys


GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm - Premiership Home Record - 1987- 2019

GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm - Premiership Attendances - 1996-2019

GLOUCESTER Matches - Premiership Playing Record v Exeter

GLOUCESTER Matches -Premiership Match Reports v Exeter