Planet Rugby

Gloucester pay a price for victory

07th December 2007 21:39

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Anthony Allen try v Bourgoin

Flying start: Anthony Allen goes over for Gloucester's opening try

Gloucester came away from Bourgoin with all five Heineken Cup points after a 31-7 win on Friday, but also with a long and distinguished casualty list, with Chris Paterson, Mike Tindall, and Olly Morgan all leaving the field with painful-looking injuries.

The Cherry-and-Whites roared to a 24-0 lead earliy in the second half with early tries from Anthony Allen and James Simpson-Daniel, both converted by Ryan Lamb who also added a seven-pointer of his own with an intercept try.

But with their ranks decimated by injury and with the rain rending any possibility of an open game null and void, Gloucester went into their shell, and spent much of the latter stages withstanding an immense physical Bourgoin challenge, before Andy Titterell got the all-important bonus point try with the last move of the game.

Iain Balshaw also had a spell off with a cut shin, but was fortunately able to return.

The disruption, in conjunction with a hailstorm, had Gloucester reeling in the third quarter of the game.

They conceded one try to flanker Julien Frier, converted by Benjamin Boyet, but their defence held under considerable pressure and they finished the game off with a try that stamped their authority on the contest.

In stark contrast to their struggles against Agen last season, Gloucester have come of age in the competition this term.

Their pack dominated the first half and with Tindall crashing through midfield and Fijian flanker Akapusi Qera powering through tackles, they had Bourgoin on the rack.

They should have had more than the tries from Anthony Allen and James Simpson-Daniel before half-time, but for a few handling errors and a couple of squandered chances on the line.

Ryan Lamb, who mixed up his kicking game with trickery and tenacity, popped a quick pass to Allen and the centre spun past Rudi Coetzee to ease over for the opening touchdown in the fifth minute.

But with their scrum creaking, Bourgoin conceded a penalty for Lamb to put over.

From a solid line-out and drive, Rory Lawson released Lamb, who swung his pass around Boyet for Simpson-Daniel to dot down under the posts.

Lamb's second conversion sent Gloucester into the interval leading 17-0 and his taunting of Boyet continued in the second half when he intercepted his counterpart's pass 45 metres out and scurried in for the third try, which he also converted.

But as Gloucester lost key casualties, Bourgoin took advantage. Mathieu Nicolas went close, denied by a desperate tackle by Iain Balshaw, before continued pressure drove Frier.

Gloucester finally broke the shackles and made it back to Bourgoin's 22 in the final minute of the game, stretching the hosts and sending replacement hooker Andy Titterrell over for a try, converted by Lamb, to secure the Kingsholm club's second bonus point from three games.

The scorers:

For Bourgoin:

Try: Frier

Con: Boyet

For Gloucester:

Tries: Allen, Simpson-Daniel, Lamb, Titterell

Cons: Lamb 4

Pen: Lamb

Bourgoin: 15 Anthony Forest, 14 David Janin, 13 Rudi Coetzee, 12 Sebastien Laloo, 11 Matthieu Nicolas, 10 Benjamin Boyet, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Wessel Jooste, 7 Mark Rennie, 6 Julien Frier, 5 Damien Fevre, 4 Julien Pierre (c), 3 Pablo Cardinali, 2 Benoit Cabello, 1 Karena Wihongi.

Replacements: 16 Jean-Philippe Genevois, 17 Olivier Sourgens, 18 Chris Wyatt, 19 Sylvian Nicolas, 20 MickaŽl Forest, 21 Matias Viazzo, 22 Jean-Francois Coux.

Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 James Simpson-Daniel, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Iain Balshaw, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Peter Buxton (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Olivier Azam, 1 Nick Wood.

Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Christian Califano, 18 Will James, 19 Luke Narraway, 20 Gareth Cooper, 21 Chris Paterson, 22 Leon Lloyd.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Touch judges: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Dermot Moloney (Ireland)

Television match official: John Sheehan (Ireland)

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