Back to List Next PageGloucester record best ever Bristol win

Kingsholm                                   Zurich Premiership                              Saturday 10 November 2001
Gloucester 51 Bristol 17

NEVER mind the quality just look at the points! A game full of incident but short of class was never a lunch time feast although Gloucester rattled up their biggest ever win over their West Country rivals.
    Bristol were undone by a moment of madness. Rugby Union always has been a 15 man game and any reduction in a sideís personnel makes for a major struggle for the remaining team. When he was with Wasps and Newcastle, Bristolís director of rugby Dean Ryan, was always looked upon as being a loose canon and having a short fuse.

    Now it seems that Garath Archer has taken over that mantle as after only 20 minutes he saw red and swung a punch. Welsh referee Nigel Williams had no hesitation in issuing a red card to the Bristol lock and sending him off.
    After that it was down hill all the way for the 14 man visitors as Gloucesterís forwards exerted their power.
    Bristol started both halves well but fell apart after their discipline crumbled. Ludo slipped up and missed three kicks but slotted three early penalties to put the Cherry and Whites in front.
    David Rees then took advantage of some timid Gloucester tackling as the ball rebounded into his arms to score a soft try.
    However converted tries from back row men Junior Paramore and Andy Hazell set Gloucester well on their way to victory.
    With a 13 point half-time deficit there was realistically no way back for Bristol. They raised their game at the start of the second half and although they held their shape for a time the handicap of being a player short proved to be too much.
    The two Gloucester Chrises - Catling and Fortey added tries. Ludo recovered his kicking form, to add the conversions as the home side extended their lead. When their prop Julian White was sin-binned Bristolís situation became mission impossible.
    Gay abandon crept into the Gloucester game as the match entered the final stages and when an over ambitious bout of handling broke down in the Gloucester 25 Bristol gained a consolation second half score through an interception for their almost forgotten former big hope, replacement Andy Sheridan.
    Gloucester replacements James Simpson-Daniel and particularly scrum half Andy Gomarsall looked sharp as they snapped up tries.
    Ludo retained his kicking form to add the conversions and total a personal tally of 19 points. Gloucester scored six tries to finish with a record 34 point winning margin and secured the bonus point.
    Stoicaís early departure from Kingsholm has now been confirmed. Philippe said he would like to have kept him but Gloucester now seem well off for centres. Perhaps he should recruit a new fullback instead?
    With only limited chances Henry Paul may not have set Kingsholm alight on this occasion but perhaps a slight change of game plan is now needed to involve him more?
    A blot on the Gloucester landscape was the fact that in scoring his try Chris Catling injured his shoulder. With the daunting trip to Newcastle next week - only one League loss so far this season - it was also a worry to see Ludo limping off at the final whistle.


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