Easter weekend busy but successful for Gloucester U17 team
26 April 2014 09:00
By Duncan Wood
The Gloucester Rugby U17 squad faced a tough schedule over the Easter weekend, but passed the test with flying colours with victories over London Wasps and Bristol.
The two away fixtures were arranged with the aim of giving every player involved in the squad the opportunity to represent the club and advance their development in preparation for next year's U18 League.
First up was a great occasion organised by London Wasps, as the respective U17s squad met at Twickenham in what could be regarded as The Stinger part 2 straight after the first teams finished their encounter.
The team played with real ambition with the ball scoring five tries in total from Matt Protherowe, Robbie Faulkner, Toby Bridgeman, Joe Gare and captain Harry Wilson.
Organised defence held Wasps to one score whilst Gloucester were down to 14 men before half time.
With both teams making a lot of changes in the second half, play became more disjointed but Gloucester ran out comfortable 32-7 winners.
Bank Holiday Monday brought about a fixture against Bristol at Gordano RFC. A lot of changes were made to the side to allow all of the players some competitive game time.
It again what proved to be an explosive game of rugby with both teams committed to playing expansive rugby.
But Gloucester again came out on top scoring five tries to two, with one each for Harry Lloyd-Jones, Jake O'Neil, Elliot Creed, Gareth Jones and Joe Mullis.
Final Score 31-15.
The U17s now have one final game against Exeter at Hartpury next Saturday before the first team take on London Irish at Kingsholm later that day.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
After a series of contract announcements last week, hooker Richard Hibbard is the latest Gloucester Rugby player to commit to a new contract at the club and told GRTV how much he enjoys playing in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.