Planet Rugby

Robinson show for Gloucester

27th March 2010 17:23

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Gareth Delve run against Leeds Carnegie

A lot on his plate: Delve

Leeds Carnegie's push for Guinness Premiership survival was dealt a blow on Saturday as they went down 19-0 to Gloucester at Kingsholm.

Nicky Robinson scored all of the home side's to continue their late push for a top-six finish and Heineken Cup qualification.

The Wales fly-half scored a try, which he converted, and kicked four penalties as the Cherry and Whites proved too strong for their visitors at Kingsholm.

But it was not all good news for Gloucester, who face a trip to Newcastle in midweek and a home clash with Saracens on Easter Saturday, as they lost England centre Mike Tindall to injury.

The 31-year-old, who impressed in England's brave Six Nations loss to France in Paris last week, limped off after just six minutes of this match.

Tindall clutched his left groin after pulling up in the early exchanges. He only returned from hamstring trouble, which put him out of England's Autumn Tests on November, earlier this month.

James Simpson-Daniel switched to the centre but the lack of Tindall's influence and control was noticeable.

Gloucester were unbeaten in the last eight home games in all competitions before kick-off, while Leeds have thrown the cat among the pigeons by climbing away from the foot of the table.

And the plucky Yorkshiremen, who have not lost in the Premiership since Valentine's Day and beaten London Wasps and high-flying Saracens in their three-win run, looked to cause the Cherry and Whites problems early on.

Prop Juan Gomez nearly scored under a pile of bodies after pressure inside the home 22.

Then big Fijian Seru Rabeni, a thorn in the side of the hosts throughout the first-half, nearly grabbed a try when he was away and clear. Only a superb covering tackle by Gloucester full-back Freddie Burns stopped the giant centre getting over the line.

Gloucester's attacking threat was minimal and the match remained scoreless until Leeds began infringing within range of home fly-half Robinson.

The former Cardiff Blues man gratefully accepted three kicks that put his side 9-0 up at the break, a deficit Leeds hardly deserved.

And the margin grew greater in the home side's favour just 40 seconds into the second-half when Leeds infringed 45 metres from their posts to give Robinson a long but successful fourth penalty shot.

Gloucester, though, suffered another important blow when their skipper and number eight, Wales international Gareth Delve, limped off after 47 minutes with an ankle injury.

Limp was also a good description of the rest of the match up until the last 10 minutes when Gloucester moved up a gear and put Leeds under the cosh.

A couple of deep attacks from Leeds came to nothing, while their fly-half Ceiron Thomas missed a long-range penalty on the hour.

Eventually, though, a try came when Robinson, hanging around a ruck on the Leeds 22, saw a gap between Thomas and inside centre Scott Barrow and grubber-kicked through towards the line and just beat covering flanker Hendre Fourie to the touchdown for a converted score.

And, for all their stubborn effort, Leeds were not even able to claim a losing bonus point as they finished the match without a score to their name.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:

Tries: Robinson

Con: Robinson

Pen: Robinson 4

Gloucester: 15 Freddie Burns, 14 James Simpson-Daniel, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 Lesley Vainikolo, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Gareth Delve (c), 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Peter Buxton, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Will James, 3 Pierre Capdevielle, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Olivier Azam, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 Adam Eustace, 20 Andrew Hazell, 21 Andy Williams, 22 Tom Voyce, 23 Charlie Sharples.

Leeds Carnegie: 15 Leigh Hinton, 14 Henry Fa'afili, 13 Seru Rabeni, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Lee Blackett, 10 Ceiron Thomas, 9 Scott Mathie, 8 Rhys Oakley, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Kearnan Myall, 5 Marco Wentzel (capt), 4 Erik Lund, 3 Juan Gomez, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Mike MacDonald.
Replacements: 16 Vili Ma'asi, 17 Gareth Hardy, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Calum Clark, 20 Alfie To'oala, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Richard Welding.

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