Cherry and Whites fight back
Second half show seals it
Gloucester 35 Bristol 13
Friday, 7 September 2018,1945hrs

The Cherry and Whites overturned a 13-3 half-time deficit to hit back with five second-half tries with 32 unanswered points to secure a bonus-point victory over newly promoted big spenders Bristol.
The first-half was a dismal let-down for the Kingsholm crowd by the hosts who provided plenty of effort with ample possession and territory but precious little cohesive accuracy and an abundance of handling errors as potential scoring opportunities were squandered by poorly executed play.
In fairness to visitors Bristol, they started brightly and looked the more lively team, moving the ball competently from inside their own half and deservedly got the first try of the match when a well judged grubber kick from Ian Madigan ended up with a try for winger Luke Morahan who crossed virtually unopposed. Madigan added the extras and a further penalty to finish the first period in front 3-13.

Gloucester spurned kicks at goal but their play looked too disorganised and disjointed with a distinct inability to retain possession, as Bristol's dogged defence thwarted all their error strewn scoring efforts.
Thankfully the second period started on a positive note as Gloucester seized the ball and the initiative to put pressure on the visitors, before Gerbrandt Grobler forced his way over from close range for their first try. Twelvetrees converted10-13.

The hosts then dominated proceedings as Bristol were forced into conceding a succession of penalties before cynical George Smith finally received a yellow card and immediately Gloucester took advantage with winger Charlie Sharples scoring under the posts. 17-13.
The Gloucester pack was now in complete control and with advantage being played from a line out drive Sharples went over in the corner for his second score before skipper Ed Slater got the bonus-point try from close range.
Bristol did try to rally by attacking from deep in their own territory but it came to nothing as Matt Banahan had the last word with the final try of the match.
On this showing Bristol may well struggle in the Premiership this season and Gloucester have plenty to do to achieve reliable regular consistency.
T.H. 15/9/2018

Pricey's Postscript
I thought we should have been at least three tries ahead at half-time.
The Gloucester line speed in defence was exceptional and Bristol, although retaining the ball, were constantly going backwards. I also thought that white line fever was prevalent in the first-half and I’m sure Willie Heinz would have made totally different choices to Callum Braley.
The referee was far too lenient with Bristol in the first half and the yellow card was long overdue. They conceded 5 penalties on the bounce but all he did was give a warning.
J.G.P 15/9/2018

More from Mike

I do believe that as I was leaving the ground I heard repeated comments of a Tale of Two Halves, and it certainly was that.

The result never looked in doubt, if you looked at the two squads, Gloucester's was always going to be to strong for a brave and enterprising Bristol side, who started the game running the ball from deep and frustrating the Cherry & Whites. However this running and the inevitable tackling required to stop Glos was to be Bristol's downfall, along with their ill-discipline, George Smith having to spend 10 minutes in the sin-bin, something that may happen several times this season. Although Bristol took the lead and maintained this till half-time, it was Gloucester who had by far the more territory and possession. If had not been for some poor handling the Cherry & Whites would probably gone in at half-time with a substantial lead, but it was not to be.
What was said at half-time remains in the changing room, but it certainly made a difference. Straight from the kick off Glos attacked and were rewarded when Grobler down the ball over the try line, from that moment it was one way traffic. Attack after attack saw Glos build an unassailable lead running out 35-13 winners, with 32 unanswered points chalked up and a bonus point win achieved in the second half. This was a Gloucester side who have learnt to grind out a win, and there is more to come when Dreyer, Kriel and Mostert become involved. 
Next week away to Sarries could be interesting, one would almost be disappointed with the losing bonus point which in the past would have been so acceptable. We will have to wait and see.

Gloucester - - Performance Rating 60%

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. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain;
4. Ed Slater (capt), 5.Gerbrandt Grobler ;
6. Jake Polledri, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ruan Ackermann


16.James Hanson, 17. Josh Hohneck, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Ben Morgan, 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Mark Atkinson, 23. Tom Hudson

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

Referee: Tom Foley

Att: 14,197
Scores: 3-13
Tries: Grobler, Sharples (2), Slater, Banahan
Con: Twelvetrees(2)
Pen: Twelvetrees(2)
Half-time: 3-13

BT - Highlights

GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm Premiership Home Record - 1987- 2018

GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm Premiership Attendances - 1996-2018

GLOUCESTER Matches - Premiership Record v Bristol

GLOUCESTER Matches - Match Reports v Bristol