(Photo credit - Martin Bennnett / Gloucester Rugby)
Gloucester Rugby scored eight tries in their first European home fixture of the season.
Benetton Rugby started well with Gloucester Rugby needing to absorb a lot of pressure and defend strongly to keep the visitors out. However, when Gloucester Rugby had ball in hand, they looked threatening in attack with notable breaks from Louis Rees-Zammit and Freddie Clark, the lock broke out of a tackle before showcasing some silky footwork, but unfortunately nothing was able to stick. Benetton were able to capitalise on the Gloucester Rugby errors through the powerful boot of Rhyno Smith from beyond the halfway line.
Although, in the second 20 mins, the plans started to work with the driving maul giving Jack Singleton a try, then a brilliant chip and chase from Louis Rees-Zammit five minutes later saw Ben Meehan dot down.
A late tackle saw the Benetton captain, Michele Lamaro shown a yellow card, and Gloucester Rugby were able to capitalise immediately with Jordy Reid scoring the Cherry and White’s third of the evening.
In the latter part of the half, Benetton showed their high calibre and scored two quick fire tries, one through the pace of Rhyno Smith, and the other by Sebastian Negri powering over the line on the cusp of Half Time.
Gloucester Rugby started much stronger in the second half. Jonny May nearly scored in the corner, but the team utilised the momentum and Matias Alemanno crashed over.
May almost got his try on the second attempt, but the final pass was judged to have gone forward, but the referee went back to a previous Benetton infringement and Hastings kicked for the corner. The devastating Cherry and White maul did the rest, forcing Benetton to collapse it on the line and a Penalty try was awarded. Stephen Varney replaced Ben Meehan in the 57th minute and immediately got into the action by scoring a minute later.
It was third time lucky for Jonny May, finally getting his try in the corner from a well-timed pass from Kyle Moyle. Gloucester Rugby’s seventh of the night!
That was still more to come from the Cherry and Whites, with Jack Clement proving this was a full 23-man effort and scoring from the back of yet another successful maul and capping off yet another successful home outing and a big European win.
Key Moment – Jonny May scores in the corner
It was a long time coming for Jonny May, after he was tackled into touch on his first attempt and receiving a forward pass on his second, but he made sure he got the 5 points on his third attempt.
It’s a Festive Derby next weekend, as Gloucester Rugby travel to the struggling Bath on Boxing Day in the Gallagher Premiership.