Gloucester fight back to beat London Irish

Date published: January 2 2016

Gloucester recovered from a half-time deficit to run out 27-14 winners against London Irish at Kingsholm in the Premiership on Saturday.

The platform for victory was laid by a determined effort from the home forwards, while the boot of James Hook contributed 17 of the hosts' 27 points.

Hook gave Gloucester a three-point lead within the first five minutes after Irish were penalised for an infringement at the line-out.

But the visitors found a quick response and they were in front when Ciaran Hearn broke a tackle to charge over from short range. Following Chris Noakes' conversion, Hook narrowed the deficit to a single point with his second penalty of the afternoon.

It remained 6-7 until the final ten minutes of the first half, when the Exiles added a second try. Alex Lewington snapped up Noakes' cross-field kick to score, and Noakes converted to make it 6-14 heading in to half-time.

Hook put the hosts back to within a converted try of their opponents with a penalty goal during the early stages of the second half, and he added another three points after Lewington was shown the yellow card for Irish.

Another penalty just shy of the hour put the hosts a single point in front, before a quick-fire brace of tries in the final quarter sealed the win.

First, Matt Kvesic was on the spot to score following a drive from the line-out, and then Billy Burns scored with his first touch. Hook converted the first of the efforts to put 13 points between the sides and there was no way back for the Exiles.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: Kvesic, Burns
Con: Hook
Pen: Hook 5

For London Irish:
Tries: Hearn, Lewington
Con: Noakes 2

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Bill Meakes, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Henry Purdy, 10 James Hook, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Jeremy Thrush, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Nicky Thomas, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Paddy McAllister, 19 Ben Morgan, 20 Jacob Rowan, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Mark Atkinson.

London Irish: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Luke Narraway, 5 Will Lloyd, 4 Matt Symons (c), 3 Ben Franks, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Gerard Ellis, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Topsy Ojo.

Referee: Thomas Foley
Assistant Referees: Kelvin Stewart, Jonathan Healy
TMO: David Sainsbury