Planet Rugby

Gloucester stay in the mix

13th December 2008 16:52

Share:

Luke Narraway v Calvisano

Dark arts: Narraway looks for the hard yards

Gloucester closed the gap at the top of Pool Six to just four points after despatching a brave Calvisano 48-5 at Kingsholm on Saturday.

The hosts took a long time to subdue their battling hosts but in the end got the job done with splendid long-range tries from Matthew Watkins and Lesley Vainikolo.

With Cardiff Blues winning in Biarritz earlier in the day, Gloucester knew anything less than a bonus-point win over the Italian strugglers would all but put an end to their chances of progressing to the knock-out stages.

They took a third minute lead when Ryan Lamb marked a stray Calvisano kick in his own 22 and set off immediately.

The visitors were penalised but Gloucester elected to kick that goal via Lamb, who converted another two minutes later.

After a line-out, Gloucester's Italian lock Marco Bortolami was warned by the referee for scuffling with his compatriots. And for the next 20 minutes, Gloucester struggled to get any continuity in their game.

Some stout Italian defence regularly thwarted the home side who were making careless unforced errors in their frustration at not being able to break the opposition line.

It got worse for the home side when, in attempting to clear his lines, Lamb had his kick charged down by opposite number Gerard Fraser, who followed up for the shock score.

The outside-half failed with the difficult kick to give his side the lead.

Gloucester finally constructed their opening try on the half-hour. From a scrum 22 metres out from the Calvisano line, Lamb, Mike Tindall and Olly Morgan executed perfectly a pre-planned move which saw the full-back put Mark Foster over in the corner for a splendid score. Lamb converted from the touchline with an excellent kick.

Following that score, Gloucester began to play with far more purpose and continuity with the Italian defence now struggling to cope.

And, in first-half overtime, Gloucester deservedly got their second try when a clever pass from Lamb sent Luke Narraway in under the posts. Lamb converted to give his side a 20-5 interval lead.

A 55-metre run from the impressive Olly Morgan immediately put Gloucester back on the attack in the second half and they should have quickly extended their lead.

But Apo Satala, in the process of scoring, lost the ball over the visitors' line and, minutes later, they threw away another chance when, but for a poor pass from Morgan, Vainikolo would have scored.

However, the Tongan-born England wing soon made amends by breaking away from a ruck to score a solo try which Lamb converted.

All Black prop Greg Somerville was introduced to make his Gloucester debut after 50 minutes, replacing the injured Alasdair Dickinson.

Olly Barkley was also introduced as Gloucester sought that vital fourth try - and it came after 63 minutes when Watkins raced in from half-way but that effort was bettered when Vainikolo intercepted and ran 80 metres for the try.

Watkins then ran in another long range effort with Lamb converting all three late efforts to give him a 100 per cent strike rate.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:

Tries: Foster, Narraway, Vainikolo 2, Watkins 2

Con: Lamb 6

Pen: Lamb 2

For Calvisano:

Tries: Fraser

Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Mark Foster, 13 Mike Tindall (c), 12 Matthew Watkins, 11 Lesley Vainikolo, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Gareth Cooper,

8 Luke Narraway, 7 Apo Satala, 6 Peter Buxton, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Adam Eustace, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.

Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Dave Young, 18 Greg Somerville, 19 Will James, 20 Rory Lawson, 21 Willie Walker, 22 Olly Barkley.

Calvisano: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Daniele Forcucci, 13 Gonzalo Gonzalo, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Andrea Pratichetti, 10 Gerard John Fraser, 9 Paul Griffen, 8 Alessandro Zanni, 7 Aaron Persico, 6 David Dal Maso, 5 Cameron Treloar, 4 Justin Purll, 3 Alejandro Moreno, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Gabriel Bocca.

Replacements: 16 Ben Evans, 17 Tommaso D'Apice, 18 Peter Sidoli, 19 Filippo Cristiano, 20 Pino Patelli, 21 Nanni Raineri, 22 Luke McLean.

Referee: Tim Hayes (Wales)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821