Easter weekend busy but successful for Gloucester U17 team
26 April 2014 09:00am
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.
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).