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
Henry Purdy scored two memorable tries against London Welsh at Kingsholm on Saturday, and attributed the first one to hard work on the training ground before describing how much he's enjoying playing his rugby alongside friends like Callum Braley.
Gloucester face London Welsh for the third time this season when they meet at Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 3pm), but Director of Rugby David Humphreys insists his team are prepared for a tough game against the Exiles.
Billy Burns was a late call up to the Gloucester team that lost narrowly to the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Friday evening and, speaking to GRTV post match, was full of praise for his team-mates but admitted that defeat was tough to take.
Speaking after what he described as an 'arm wrestle' up front, skipper Tom Savage couldn't fault his side's effort and commitment on the night at Welford Road but insisted that his side will keep on battling, starting at home to London Welsh next weekend.
A number of the Gloucester Rugby squad this week benefitted from an initiative organised by Circle 2 Success (C2S) and the Rugby Players Association (RPA) to help players develop their business planning skills.