Planet Rugby

Bonus win for Gloucester

30th January 2011 17:23

Share:

Lesley Vainikolo Leeds Try

White line fever: Lesley Vainikolo dives over for a Gloucester try

Gloucester moved to the top of Pool Three in the LV=Cup with a comfortable bonus-point victory over Leeds Carnegie at Headingley.

Gloucester's defeat at the same venue on New Year's Day had given Leeds their only domestic win of the campaign to date, but there seemed little chance of a repeat as tries from Lesley Vainikolo and Tom Voyce plus a conversion and penalty from Freddie Burns gave the visitors a 15-9 lead, with Ceiron Thomas kicking three penalties for the hosts.

Burns further extended Gloucester's lead with another penalty and, despite a fine try for Leeds from Scott Mathie, Nick Wood and Tim Molenaar crossed to give the west-country side the extra point and leave them knowing a win over London Irish next weekend will put them into the semi-finals for the third year running.

Leeds handed starts to hooker Phil Nilsen and flanker Jacob Rowan, with Steve Thompson and Hendre Fourie away with England. Lachlan Mackay started at fly-half as Thomas switched to full-back.

Gloucester retained just Voyce, Burns, Akapusi Qera and Will James from their win over Agen, while Scotland lock Jim Hamilton returned after breaking his foot on international duty in November.

The Cherry and Whites made the best possible start as Leeds conceded a scrum after failing to gather the kick-off. The ball was moved wide by fly-half Burns and Vainikolo stepped through some feeble tackling to touch down for an unconverted try inside two minutes.

Despite that poor start, the home side enjoyed the better of the opening quarter without threatening the visitors' line, but Thomas put them on the board with an 18th-minute penalty after Olivier Azam was penalised for coming offside at a maul.

But Gloucester's five-point lead was quickly re-established after a lovely offload from Qera set up a simple penalty chance which Burns knocked over.

Leeds stepped up the pressure as a concerted attack saw prop Mick MacDonald bundled into touch just short of the line and a sharp counter-attack soon after yielded another penalty, Thomas again hitting the target.

For all that pressure, Gloucester looked the sharper in attack and a lovely chip and regather by Burns created their second try in the 33rd minute. The outside-half's offload found flanker Alasdair Strokosch, and winger Voyce burst through a sleeping home defence to score under the posts, Burns adding the extras to make it 15-6.

However, Thomas did trim the lead with his third penalty on the stroke of the interval after a cynical piece of defending by Hamilton to end a forgettable opening half.

The standard barely improved after the interval altough a powerful Gloucester scrum saw MacDonald cave in and concede a penalty which Burns slotted with 25 minutes to play.

The Yorkshire side hit back with a good spell of concerted pressure with back-row Rhys Oakley making some useful ground, but MacDonald could not find Thomas with the final pass.

And their pressure finally paid off as they scored a try completely out of keeping with the rest of the contest.

Mackay made a scything break from deep and found Mike Stephenson as he fell to deck. The winger in turn found lock Kearnan Myall before Scott Barrow sent replacement scrum-half Mathie behind the sticks. Thomas converted to set up a tense final 15 minutes.

Gloucester were dealt a further blow when Vainikolo was helped off with an arm injury but they responded as replacement prop Wood rumbled over from a line-out to all but seal the win as Nicky Robinson added the conversion.

Centre Molenaar then brushed off some weak tackling for the fourth try as Leeds were eliminated from the competition.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954