(Photo credit - Martin Bennett / Gloucester Rugby)
Gloucester Rugby continued their amazing form to earn another bonus point win under the lights at Kingsholm.
After a rapturous welcome for Freddie Clarke on his 100th appearance, Gloucester Rugby started with intent. All players got involved early with Ben Meehan making a meaningful break after just 3 minutes, chipping the ball through, and forcing Charles Piutau to touch down over his own line.
Both teams were able to piece together some great passages of attack although handling errors let them both down which kept momentum swinging and the game deadlocked at 3-3.
However, in the final minutes of the first half, some ill-discipline crept into the Bristol team and Gloucester Rugby were awarded a penalty after Chris Harris was tackled without the ball. The was duly kicked into touch by Adam Hastings and the ever-dominant Cherry and White maul did the rest, Jack Singleton the beneficiary this time. Gloucester Rugby led 8-3 at the end of the half.
In the second half it was Bristol Rugby that came out of the blocks firing, after a change at half time which saw Semi Radradra come into the centres and former Cherry and White Henry Purdey shift to the wing and immediately score.
Although Gloucester Rugby rebuilt the pressure and scored a brilliant try when Mark Atkinson fired the ball through, and Chris Harris sprinted after it and slid over to make the score 15-10 after Hastings converted.
Gloucester Rugby applied yet more pressure to Bristol which caused more ill-discipline from the visitors allowing the Cherry and Whites to work their way to a 5m scrum. The forwards showed their dominance yet again and earned a penalty and a 5m line out. The resulting maul was as destructive as we’ve come to expect, and this time ended in a penalty try bringing the score to 22-10.
There was still enough time in the game for Bristol to become camped in Gloucester Rugby’s 22, however, after a good attack, they spilt the ball forward allowing the Cherry and Whites the chance to hold onto the ball and see out the game.
But the scoring wasn’t over! Charlie Chapman made a break from the scrum and sprinted down the wing to score and earn the bonus point with seconds to spare!
Key Moment – Chris Harris & Mark Atkinson
Chris Harris and Mark Atkinson made an immediate impact after their return from international duty to link up and score a great try to shift the momentum in Gloucester Rugby’s favour.
The Cherry and Whites are off to France next week in the first round of the European Challenge Cup against Lyon.