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.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reflected on last week's win in La Rochelle as well as an A League semi-final triumph, but insisted that focus has quickly switched to Sunday's crucial Aviva Premiership fixture at Bath.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-29 Aviva A League win over Wasps Rugby, Academy Coach Rich Whiffin explained his pride in the squad to overcome a strong opponent and book their spot in next week's Aviva A League final.
Willi Heinz returned from injury to skipper Gloucester to a famous 16-14 win over Stade Rochelais on Saturday evening. Speaking after the game in France, Heinz admitted the win wasn't pretty but was full of courage and a great result for the club.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Local junior rugby teams had the honour of trotting out onto the Kingsholm pitch on Saturday morning, with over 400 young players representing their local clubs in the finals of the Wooden Spoon Charity Floodlit Tournament.