Humphreys hails Gloucester resilience

Date published: May 10 2015

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Gloucester boss David Humphreys is convinced his side's resilience in overcoming a man disadvantage to see off London Irish will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season.

Flanker Matt Kvesic was sent off with 23 minutes played for a tip tackle on Tomas O'Leary but Gloucester dominated proceedings nonetheless – eventually cruising to a 35-13 triumph at Kingsholm.

Jonny May, Henry Purdy and Dan Thomas all crossed the whitewash for the hosts while Greig Laidlaw kicked 20 points from the tee as they extended their winning run to four games in all competitions.

The Cherry and Whites appear to be hitting their straps ahead of a local derby with Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season, which will be followed by a European Rugby Champions Cup play-off.

Irish started strongly at Kingsholm, setting up camp in the hosts' 22, but failed to turn territory into points and Humphreys was ecstatic with the turnaround that followed.

"It was a difficult game as the first 20 minutes were funny being stuck in our 22," he said.

"The character of the side then shone through as we refused to give up easy points.

"We had a strong wind in our favour in the second half so we dug in and took our opportunities when they arrived.

"Matt [Kvesic] is very disappointed and is very apologetic to the group. He was a little bit unfortunate but it was an automatic red card under the letter of the law.

"Bath will be a huge challenge as they will be anxious to secure a home Premiership semi-final.

"We will prepare but we have to bear in mind the European games as there's a huge amount of stake at this late stage of the season."

Minutes after Kvesic saw red, Alex Lewington scored in the corner to give the visitors a 5-3 lead but that was as good as it got for the Exiles.

Scrum-half O'Leary had to be replaced following the tip tackle – fly-half Chris Noakes shifting inside because schoolboy Callum Watson was the only recognised number nine on the bench.

Andy Short also went over for an 80th-minute consolation score and while interim head coach Glenn Delaney was left to rue missed opportunities, he believes losing O'Leary was the turning point.

"Callum [Watson] was in school yesterday and it was too early to bring him off the bench," said Delaney.

"Chris Noakes held up an end but we lost a lot when Tomas went off.

"We weren't accurate enough and the penalties kept coming against us, which left us with a mountain to climb.

"After a bright start when we didn't make hay with the chances we had, the red card was a momentum-changer as they played brilliantly in a broken play scenario."

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