Heineken Champions Cup
Cherry and Whites hard fought win
Hard work for Gloucester
Gloucester 19 Castres 14
Sunday, 14 October 2018,1300hrs

A Cherry and Whites team without too many first choice forwards did enough to win their first Champions Cup match after a five year absence by beating French Top 14 champions Castres in a hard fought tussle at wet and windy Kingsholm.
Despite an ample supply of ball Gloucester simple could not turn possession into points and had to endure a nervous few minutes at the end before the final whistle.
The first-half saw Gloucester in control throughout in both territory and possession thanks to another influential showing from Danny Cipriani who kicked the hosts into an early lead. However Castres levelled the scores with a penalty of their own before Cips added another three points as the visitors did the same again, this time with a drop goal.
Gloucester appeared to have added to their lead when a break down the touchline set Tom Marshall free to cross but controversially the score was disallowed, before Braley did get the first try after more good work from Marshall to score under the posts, Cips conversion took the score to 13-6 with no further scores at half-time.
Gloucester should have had more points against a Castres side that was more than content to concede penalties but no cards were issued.
The hosts did get the crucial first score of the second-half having to settle for another Cipriani penalty. 16-6.
A further Cipriani kick extended the lead before a try from the visitors put them right back in the game with a try in the corner from winger Martin Laveau and then another Dumora penalty closed the gap to 19-14 and proceeded to pin Gloucester in the corner in the final tense minutes. However, despite being under pressure the pack forced a turn-over on their line and thankfully won a penalty at the scrum to clear their line.
The final score was closer than it should have been with Gloucester failing to make the most of their opportunities.
Cipriani was as authoritative as ever in the wet conditions
and it is disappointing that Gloucester could not make more of their chances. They were not helped by some debatable decisions from Italian referee Marius Mitre but that is no excuse.
On this showing no one should be in any doubt of the enormity of the task against Munster at Thomond Park
where chances will be few and far between.
T.H. 14/10/2018

More from Mike

The result is what matters most.
A good result and a reasonable performance against the French Champions Castres. Despite having most of the possession and territory Gloucester were unable to turn this into valuable points.
The second-half was a little more even and the loyal 9993 fans had to endure a nail biting final 10 minutes.
It is however a great result, so onwards to Munster next Saturday.

Gloucester - Performance Rating - 60%

15. Jason Woodward, 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Tom Marshall,
10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Callum Braley,
1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 6. Freddie Clarke, 7. Jake Polledri, 8. Ben Morgan (Capt)


16. Henry Walker, 17. Val Rapava Ruskin, 18. Ciaran Knight; 19. Tom Savage, 20. Todd Gleave; 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Tom Hudson

Unavailable for selection:
Ruan Ackermann, Gareth Denman, Ruan Dreyer, Gareth Evans, James Hanson, Willi Heinz, Jaco Kriel, Paddy McAllister, Henry Purdy, Will Safe, Ed Slater, Ollie Thorley, Henry Trinder

Referee: Marius Mitre

Att: 9,993
Con: Cipriani
Pen: Cipriani (4)

Half-time: 13 -6

BT - Highlights

Glos - Heineken Cup Results 2001-2018

Glos - Heineken Cup Record Kingsholm

Glos - Euro Attendances Kingsholm