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Gloucester cling on for dramatic win

29th March 2014 16:53

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A missed last-second conversion from Exeter Chiefs allowed Gloucester to claim a 14-13 win over their rivals at Sandy Park.

There was little to separate the two sides in the first half as the only try was scored by Matt Jess to give Exeter an 8-6 lead at the break. A Charlie Sharples try had given the visitors a fairly comfortable lead until late on when the home side nearly snatched victory.

Two minutes in Gloucester thought they had scored after an Exeter move broke down and the visitors capitalised, with full-back Rob Cook diving over the line, only for the try to be ruled out by the TMO for a forward pass earlier in the move.

Exeter responded well to Gloucester's near miss as they went up the other end and opened the scoring with a Henry Slade penalty to make it 3-0. The game was very much stop-start as the half wore on with both teams struggling to take the initiative, though two penalties from Rob Cook had swung the score line back in Gloucester's favour.

Just after the half hour mark, Luke Arscott lofted a pass out to winger Jess who had ample space to cross the line out wide. Slade missed the resulting conversion as the hosts went in 8-6 ahead.

Gloucester started the second half the brighter of the two sides, and another Rob Cook penalty put the visitors back in front. The Cherry and Whites then capitalised further on their dominance to go over for their first score of the afternoon. Rob Cook released Sharples who had a clear run over the line to put Gloucester 14-8 in front.

Little happened for the remainder of the half, until the game sparked in to life in the closing stages. With two minutes left on the clock Sila Puafisi saw yellow, paying the price for a number of Cherry & Whites infringements, with Exeter well on top. Gloucester were then reduced to 13 men when Sione Kalamofoni was penalised for illegally holding Exeter up on the try line.

Then, with the final play of the match South African flanker, Don Armand, went over to give the home fans hope of a win. Only for Gareth Steenson to fluff his lines and miss the conversion, leaving the visitors with a narrow 14-13 win.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Tries: Jess, Armand
Pen: Slade

For Gloucester:
Try: Sharples
Pens: Cook 3
Yellow cards: Puafisi, Kalamafoni

The teams:

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Tom James, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Tom Johnson, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (capt), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Don Armand, 20 James Scaysbrook, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Sam Hill.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c) 11 Jonny May, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Will James, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Lua Lokotui, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Henry Trinder.

Referee: Matthew Carley

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