Gloucester's glorious young guns swept past the challenge of Doncaster in a nine-try romp at Kingsholm on Friday night. The official website rounds up the action.
When they mixed the pace and wonderfully expressive running skills of both forwards and backs, Doncaster had little answer to the qualities of Will Matthews, Luke Narraway, James Merriman, Ryan Lamb and Anthony Allen.
And with Gary Powell and Terry Sigley producing meaty performances at the sharp end of the scrum, Gloucester were fully deserving of an excellent victory.
They opened the first quarter with a two-try advantage thanks to scores from Will Matthews and Brad Davies.
Doncaster had their fair share of possession but lacked Gloucester's superior handling when under pressure in the contact situation. The home side were ahead after only a minute when Davies kicked a penalty and they increased the lead four minutes later.
Davies was heavily involved when he rolled a lovely little kick behind Doncaster's flat defence, Anthony Allen read it beautifully and flicked a superb inside ball into the hands of Luke Narraway who made ground and sent Will Matthews hurtling to the line.
Gloucester were superior in the scrum thanks to the Premiership whys and wherefores of Terry Sigley and Gary Powell, but Doncaster gave it everything at the breakdown without ever threatening the defence.
But it took the home side until the last minute of the quarter before they scored again. A rolling maul with Powell at its heart was dragged to within striking distance and Davies ran a lovely angle across the posts to burst home.
He converted his own try to leave Gloucester 15-0 ahead at the first break of the first quarter.
Doncaster's best moments came immediately after the re-start and Gloucester had to weather a good deal of pressure. The visitors were rewarded when scrum-half Llyr Lane got free to score in the far left corner following a period of pressure from a line-out.
Gloucester struggled to pick up the momentum thereafter and it was not until Ryan Lamb replaced Davies after 30 minutes that the sparkle returned. He was at the heart of a number of searing moves, breaking swiftly, kicking across field with accuracy, and generally dragging Gloucester onto the front foot.
And it was one of his cross-field kicks into the arms of Marcel Garvey that created the third try. James Bailey had smuggled back possession in the contact area and after Lamb's kick, Garvey made the telling break and sent number eight Luke Narraway in for the score.
Lamb converted to leave Gloucester 22-5 ahead at the break on 40 minutes.
After the half-time break, Gloucester produced some sparkling rugby at times - able to combine some outstanding continuity work with precision handling to extend their lead.
It took them less than three minutes to score again when Lamb's rolling kick was picked off by Garvey for a try behind the posts. Lamb converted and the home side were off and running again.
Garvey's second try 12 minutes later owed everything to his pace and footballing skills. Doncaster produced a concerted period of pressure but floundered against a hard working defence and when they failed to control the ball well enough at the contact area, Garvey snuck through, hacked ahead, chipped on twice more and beat the cover and the bounce of the ball to score.
It was an indication in the gulf in quality when Gloucester really turned it on, but Doncaster plugged away and were rewarded when James Rothwell was quickly up to accept a bouncing ball and race away from half-way to score.
The points kept coming but it was the hosts who were in control. Lamb, lively and full of inventive ideas close to tackle area, threw out a long, sweeping pass to Merriman, who showed a remarkable turn of gas to out-strip the cover and shoot in to score.
The crowd were only just recovering their breath when the Welsh dynamo struck again. He caught the kick off and set in motion a dazzling counter-attack that involved Narraway twice, Jonathan Pendlebury, Rob Elloway and lastly James Bailey who took Narraway's scoring pass to seal a sensational move.
Gloucester's young guns were relishing the space created by a more dominant pack of forwards and 19 minutes from time it was Allen's turn to pluck a Lamb pass out of the sky, make a clean break and put Matthews over for his second score.
Lamb's conversion made it 53-10 and before the end there was just time for Duncan Murray's cross-field kick to be taken by Rothwell in front of Bailey to cross for his second try.
GLOUCESTER: Olly Morgan; James Bailey, Anthony Allen, Ali James (Chris McNeil 66), Marcel Garvey, Brad Davies (Ryan Lamb 30), Simon Amor (capt), Terry Sigley (Jack Forster 66), James Parkes (Rob Elloway 40), Gary Powell (Kevin Moran 66), Dan Touhy (Dean Miller 64), Jonathan Pendlebury, Will Matthews, James Merriman (Tom Rawlins 67), Luke Narraway.
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Speaking after the 30-21 West Country Challenge Cup defeat at Bath, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of the improvements his team are making as preseason progresses but acknowledges that there is still work to do ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership.
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