Brad Davies was on fine form against the Army last night
A YOUNG Gloucester side earned a thoroughly deserved 29-22 victory over the Army at Aldershot on Monday night.
Brad Davies was once again in excellent form and Gloucester got off to the perfect start when Jon Goodridge ran home from a close-range scrum in the first minute.
However, the Army came back with a penalty and then took the lead with a try from their number 11 Martin Lacey that was converted by the stand-off Rob Sweeney.
The Army were in frenetic mood and chased everything in a terrifically fast-paced encounter but Gloucester weathered the storm and re-took the lead after 12 minutes.
Davies aimed a penalty to touch from 40 metres and Gloucester drove the line-out to within touching distance of the line and when their drive was hauled down, the referee awarded a penalty try Davies converted.
Davies controlled the game well and his long, raking cross-field kick almost created a try for Rob Thirlby.
Gloucester continued to dominate and with Merriman, Will Matthews and Terry Sigley all showing up well in the forwards, the visitors scored a third try.
Thirlby created it with a fine 30 metre run before Merriman hit a line-out up the middle and Ali James went in for the score.
Gloucester's professionalism shone through and eight minutes before the break, they scored again. Davies kicked a penalty to close range and Matthews was driven over from the line-out to make the score 22-10.
The Army hit back in the second half, despite having their loosehead prop Matt Hopwood sinbinned. But it was not until the 59th minute that replacement scored from a scrum.
But with 11 minutes to go, Davies sealed the contest when he went over for a try he converted himself.
Although the Army's openside John Rasovo found the whitewash in the last minute, Coach Carl Douglas was delighted with the performance: "The game provided us with an opportunity for some of our younger Academy players to step up to the next level. I was very pleased with the contribution they made.
"It was a hard fought win, and we struggled to maintain our shape and structure in the second half, due to some enforced changes and a spirited army performance.
"But the senior players enabled the team to function effectively and come away the win. We are now looking forward to the challenge of travelling to Wasps in the a league in two weeks time."
KSM very much regrets that the supporters meeting, scheduled for 7.30 p.m. 1st February at Kingsholm, has been cancelled.
We had expected that David Barnes, the new chairman of the PRA and Bath prop, would be the guest speaker. We hope to have his company on another occasion
Speaking after the 37-8 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Benetton Treviso, James Hook admitted that the Italian side made things tough for Gloucester at times but that the Cherry and Whites are happy to take the bonus point win and turn their focus to Northampton next week.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.