Gloucester power past Exiles

Date published: May 9 2015

Gloucester cruised to a 35-13 win over London Irish despite losing Matt Kvesic to a first-half red card for a tip tackle.

The England hopeful was given his marching orders after just 22 minutes, but Gloucester were still far too strong, running in tries through Jonny May, Dan Thomas and Henry Purdy.

Irish were out the blocks quickest putting pressure on the home team from the opening whistle but it was Gloucester who finished the half on top.

Greig Laidlaw opened the scoring with a penalty for the home team. Alex Lewington got the first try of the half after Matt Kvesic was shown red.

When Eamonn Sheridan was shown yellow Gloucester found their way back into the tie with a try from May opening up a commanding 13-5 lead for the home side.

Gloucester managed to kick their way to victory through Laidlaw, with four penalties in the second half despite being a man short.

Towards the end of the match tired legs meant some last minute tries with Thomas and Purdy crossing over for the home team.

Andy Short got the last try of the match for Irish but it did little to soften the blow of a 35-13 loss to their close rivals.

Gloucester made six changes to the side that beat Edinburgh 13-19 in last Friday's European Challenge Cup Final.

Some early pressure from London Irish stretched Gloucester for the opening ten minutes, the visitors were twice denied tries by the video referee.

Despite their early dominance the visitors went behind on the 15 minute mark through a Laidlaw penalty. More concerted pressure from Irish didn't lead to any points on the board but after 22 minutes Kvesic was shown red for a spear tackle.

Just before the half hour mark Lewington crossed for the first try of the match after a sweeping move from the visitors. Chris Noakes' conversion attempt had the distance but not the direction leaving the scores at 3-5.

Minutes later May got on the end of a chip to the wing, he was tackled but not held and slipped away to put Gloucester back in front. Laidlaw dissected the posts with the conversion to put the home side 10-5 in front.

Another Gloucester break saw Sheridan yellow carded Laidlaw slotted the resulting penalty to extend the lead to 13-5 at the half's end.

Laidlaw opened the scoring for the second half through another successful kick to put the home team a further three in front just before the return of Sheridan.

Noakes stole three back for the visitors moments later with the scores at 16-8.

Laidlaw missed his first kick of the day with 30 minutes to go but made amends by slotting one from the halfway line three minutes later and another two minutes after that to make it 22-8.

Laidlaw's boot managed to put Gloucester a further three in front with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Thomas got Gloucester's second try of the match and Purdy crashed over for a third following a Dan Leo yellow card, to extend his team's lead to 35-8.

Short got the final try of the match for the visitors on 80 minutes but it was too little too late as the 14 men of Gloucester won the day.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: May, Thomas, Purdy
Con: Laidlaw
Pens: Laidlaw 6
Red card: Kvesic

For London Irish:
Tries: Lewington, A Short
Pen: Noakes
Yellow cards: Sheridan, Leo

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Charlie Sharples, 14 Jonny May, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Dan Thomas, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Yann Thomas
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 James Hudson, 21 Callum Braley, 22 James Hook, 23 Steve McColl

Irish: 15 Andrew Fenby, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 James Short, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Tomás O’Leary, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Luke Narraway, 5 Jebb Sinclair, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Richard Palframan, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Dan Leo, 20 Kieran Low, 21 Callum Watson, 22 Eamonn Sheridan, 23 Andy Short

Venue: Kingsholm
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Andrew Pearce, Roger Baileff
TMO: Robin Goodliffe