Planet Rugby

Gloucester impress in France

19th January 2014 14:35

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jonny may gloucester perpignan

Flying: Jonny May

Gloucester produced an impressive away win against Perpignan by scoring five tries to round out their Heineken Cup campaign.

Gloucester advanced into the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final thanks to a convincing victory at Stade Aimé Giral.

Tries from Jonny May, Charlie Sharples, Ben Morgan and two from Sahne Monahan were enough to see Glaws through to second position in Pool Six and in turn a place in the Challenge Cup play-offs thanks to Edinburgh's defeat at Munster.

Nigel Davies's men eventually had more than enough against a Perpignan side who had made 13 changes from their last game.

Signs of the visitors' revival in both the Heineken Cup and the Aviva Premiership were clear, with three tries scored within the first half.

The bonus point was secured after just 52 minutes, as an unhappy home faithful saw their side outplayed and outclassed.

Despite going behind to Tom Ecochard's early penalty, Gloucester were the first side to cross the whitewash thanks to the brilliance of May. Taking advantage of Sione Piukala's fumble, May charged from his own half past no less than four players to slalom over and give the visitors the hope they needed.

The Perpignan response came just minutes later. Piukala made up for his earlier error by taking in David Marty's pass to get the hosts back in the lead.

Shane Monohan's try in the corner had Glaws on the front foot, as they smelt progress into the Amlin was a realistic aim with Munster beating Edinburgh.

A superb counter attack by Gloucester put them just one try away from a bonus point after just 35 minutes. Gareth Evans showed a terrific turn of pace to play in Charlie Sharples, who twisted his way over the line.

The hosts were the first out of the blocks after the break. Glaws' indiscipline was punished, with Ecochard reducing the gap in points to just six.

Monahan's second had the bonus point secured, but not the result.

Perpignan, who had nothing to play for, took the shackles off and looked to dent the away side's lead with over 20 minutes to go.

That lead was dented just after the hour mark. Good work from Ecochard was finished off by Karl Chateau, with the conversion meaning Gloucester had an eight point lead to defend against a side with a terrific home record.

Ultimately, the French side couldn't mount a serious comeback, with Freddie Burns' drop goal making the victory even sweeter.

Morgan's last gasp score made his side's day even better. His first try of the season not only confirmed a famous away victory, but also the promise of more European games to come.

The scorers:

For Perpignan:
Tries: Piukala, Chateau
Con: Ecochard
Pens: Ecochard 2

For Gloucester:
Tries: May, Monahan 2, Sharples, Morgan
Cons: Burns 4
Drop Goal: Burns

Perpignan: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 David Marty (c), 12 Sione Piukala, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Sofiane Guitoune, 9 Tom Ecochard, 8 Karl Chateau 7 Luke Narraway, 6 Justin Purll, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Dan Leo, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Romain Terrain, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua.
Replacements: 16 Maxime Delonca, 17 George Jgenti, 18 Sona Taumalolo, 19 Jean-Pierre Perez, 20 Nicolas Durand, 21 Lifeimi Mafi, 22 Jens Torfs, 23 Alasdair Strokosch

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Jonny May, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Shane Monahan, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Gareth Evans 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Matt Cox, 5 James Hudson, 4 Elliot Stooke, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Daniel George, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Will James, 20 Sione Kalafamoni, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Martyn Thomas, 23 Steph Reynolds

Referee: George Clancy (Ire)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton, Jonathan Peak (both Ire)
TMO: Alan Rogan (Ire)

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