Cherry and Whites poor performance
Gloucester pay penalty
Gloucester 25 Harlequins 27
Saturday, 29 September 2018,1500hrs
A desperately poor Cherry and Whites team handed an average Harlequins side their first away win in twelve months.
True referee J.P.Doyle granted Gloucester few favours but the hosts were their own worst enemies with too many missed tackles, missed chances, plus wrong options added to too many elementary handling errors and surrendering a raft of sloppy penalties. All in all a pass poor performance.
The first-half had started well for Gloucester when Jake Polledri broke clear to put Danny Cipriani in for their first try.
Harlequins soon hit back when Lewis Ludlow tried to flick a Cipriani pass on but only managed to put ball into winger Nathan Earle's hands who scored unopposed. He must have thought it was his birthday as it got better for him as the hosts missed mid-field tackles allowing Earle got his second try taking full advantage of non-existent cover to score another soft try.
12-5 down, Gloucester launched a succession of penalties, all kicked to touch but none brought points until Cips kicked a couple of penalties as Quins continually infringed before a yellow card was forthcoming for Matt Symons allowing Atkinson and Vellacott to set up Charlie Sharples' converted try.
As so often happens the good work was promptly undone as Gloucester conceded a penalty which Quins' James Lang kicked to make the half-time score 18-15.
Lang promptly levelled the scores with another penalty at the start of the second-half before replacement his replacement Marcus Smith put the visitors back in front with a couple more easy penalties.
Although Sharples got a second try the final quarter was almost a comedy of errors for Gloucester who coughed up more penalties and although Smith hit the post with one kick, crucially he edged the visitors back in front as their experienced front row had an advantage in the set-piece over their younger opponents.
There was still time for a barn storming run from Matt Banahan which was stopped just short as the Cherry and Whites were denied another score as time ran out.
On this season's showing to date, Saracens and Exeter are light years ahead of the other Premiership teams, with the exception of Gloucester's next opponents Wasps, who must be licking their lips at the the prospect of a comfortable bonus-try win.
Just like the bad old days .
At the moment Gloucester are sadly lacking a top scrum half and centre, whilst the pack is suffering from the loss of key injured players .
Things can only get better - we hope!
More from Mike
All in all a pitiful performance, which the players should not only be disappointed in but be embarrassed by.
This was a nailed on certain bonus point win, the Cherry & Whites looking to forget last week and beat an under performing Quins team. Only that's not what happened, the under performing team on the day was Gloucester.
We sadly miss Willie Heinz and the sooner he is back to steady the ailing ship the better, we also need Jacko Kriel and Ruan Dreyer playing. I do have one question to ask, why, if Heinz is likely to be out for longer, don't we get a loan scrum half in?
Well, as we say, things can only get better, oops forgot Wasps away next Saturday.
Gloucester - - Performance Rating 50%
15.Tom Hudson; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Henry Trinder, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Matt Banahan; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Ben Vellacott;
1. Josh Hohneck, 2. James Hanson, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater (capt), 5. Gerbrandt Grobler; 6. Jake Polledri, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ben Morgan
16. Franco Marais, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Freddie Clarke,
20. Gareth Evans, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Billy Twelvetrees, 23. Jason Woodward
Franco Marais, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Freddie Clarke,
Unavailable for selection:
Ruan Ackermann, Gareth Denman, Ruan Dreyer, Willi Heinz, Jaco Kriel,
Tom Marshall, Paddy McAllister, Henry Purdy, Val Rapava Ruskin, Tom Savage, Ollie Thorley
Tries: Cipriani, Sharples (2)
Con: Cipriani (2)
Pen: Cipriani (2)