Gloucester thrash London Welsh

Date published: September 26 2014

London Welsh became the first Premiership side to concede 40 points in four consecutive games as they lost 46-10 to Gloucester at Kassam Stadium on Friday.

Henry Purdy and Charlie Sharples tries gave the Cherry and Whites a 12-0 lead, but Ben Pienaar’s converted touchdown and Olly Barkley’s penalty reduced the deficit to two points at the break.

Billy Twelvetrees and Greig Laidlaw added three-pointers in the second half before scores by Mark Atkinson (twice), Jonny May and a penalty try secured the bonus-point win for Gloucester.

Welsh went into the game with no wins from three games having conceded an average of 50 points per match.

Each encounter has seen them concede a try early on but this time they held their own and actually had the better of the first 20 minutes.

Gloucester’s Dan Robson sounded a warning, though, after the hosts had switched off and another loss in concentration allowed the visitors to open their account.

Once again Robson was the instigator and good work from the scrum-half, May and Twelvetrees gave Purdy an easy finish.

Buoyed by that effort, the Kingsholm-based outfit went over for a second time when James Hook and his half-back partner combined to send Sharples across the whitewash.

In previous matches, the Exiles would have crumbled but they stuck to their task and were rewarded through Pienaar’s try following a dominant driving maul.

Barkley then kicked a penalty with the last action of the half to take Welsh to within two points of Gloucester at the interval.

Justin Burnell’s men continued their impressive defensive display early in the second period, limiting the visitors to three-point opportunities.

However, unlike in the opening 40, they struggled to keep hold of the ball and David Humphreys’ team began to build some pressure.

It was therefore no surprise to see Twelvetrees increase their advantage before Taione Vea was sin-binned for the hosts after a series of scrum infringements.

Laidlaw kicked the resultant opportunity as the Cherry and Whites went into the final 15 minutes with an eight-point lead.

Down to 14 men, the Exiles were unable to contain the opposition and a searing break from May set up the position for Atkinson to touch down.

When the replacement centre and May crossed the whitewash late on for Gloucester, it was a repeat of Welsh’s final quarter performance at Sale Sharks last weekend.

Humphreys’ side were then awarded a penalty try in the final minute as they condemned the hosts to yet another thrashing.

The scorers:

For London Welsh:
Try: Pienaar
Con: Barkley
Pen: Barkley>
Yellow cards: Vea, Schofield

For Gloucester:
Tries: Purdy, Sharples, Atkinson 2, May, Penalty try
Cons: Hook, Laidlaw 4
Pens: Twelvetrees, Laidlaw

London Welsh: 15 Seb Jewell, 14 Rhys Crane, 13 Nic Reynolds, 12 Tom May (c), 11 Nick Scott, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Ollie Stedman, 7 Richard Thorpe, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 James Down, 4 Dean Schofield, 3 Taione Vea, 2 Koree Britton, 1 Ricky Reeves.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Shane Cahill, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 Matt Corker, 20 Ben Pienaar, 21 Rob Lewis, 22 Tristan Roberts, 23 James Lewis.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Purdy, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 James Hook, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Tom Palmer; 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 James Hudson, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Mark Atkinson, 23 Tom Isaacs.

Venue: Kassam Stadium
Referee: Luke Pearce (30th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix and Ross Campbell
TMO: Sean Davey