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Never say die Gloucester Rugby win Plate at Premiership Rugby 7s

Never say die Gloucester Rugby win Plate at Premiership Rugby 7s
After a tough first evening at the Premiership Rugby 7s, Gloucester Rugby bounced back on day two with Stephen Varney’s last gasp try securing a 34-29 victory over Sale Sharks and, as a result, won the Plate.

It looked as though the Cherry and Whites would come up just short as they trailed with just a few seconds left on the clock, but Sale couldn't claim the restart and gave Varney the chance to burst clear and go over for the decisive score, a fitting reward for their efforts on the day.

Gloucester Rugby 31 - 29 Northampton Saints


In a game that started slowly, it built up to an exciting crescendo with Gloucester edging Northampton Saints with the final play.

Gloucester opened the scoring through Corey Howells as he beat his man on the outside and backed himself to go through to score. But Northampton Saints hit straight back, with Tui Uru scoring after a powerful solo run down the touchline. Jake Morris gave Gloucester the lead heading into the break, with an impressive show of pace as he beat his man on half way and held off the chasing defence to score.

Half Time - Gloucester 12 - 7 Northampton Saints

Jake Morris started the second half in the same vein with his second of the game. Another powerful run as he broke the line between two Saints defenders to score. Once again, Saints hit back, this time through Conor Tupai with a fine individual score to cut the Gloucester lead to 5.

[caption id="attachment_28223" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Stephen Howard Joe Howard fights his way forward (c) PPA UK[/caption]

Saints then took the lead with 4 minutes to go. Tommy Freeman scoring for the hosts after he recover his own kick chase and just dotted the ball down before the dead ball line. It looked all but over for Gloucester when Josh Gillespie finished excellently in the corner to take the Saints lead to 9 with just over a minute remaining.

However, Gloucester dug deep and captain Alex Morgan led the team with example. Scoring a sensational solo run down the nearside touchline to score with just 13 seconds of the game left. He then did the same again to win it for the Cherry and White's. Morgan crossed for his second and the for the game with the last play to send Gloucester through to the Plate Final.

Gloucester Rugby 34 - 29 Sale Sharks

The Cherry and Whites got off to a flyer in the Plate final as Stephen Howard scored a cracker. Picking up from the base of a ruck, the back rower went 50 metres for the game’s opening try.

Sale hit back with a try out wide from Luke James but Alex Morgan showed great feet to step his man and accelerate away for Gloucester Rugby’s second and a 12-7 lead. However, two tries from Sale as half-time approached seemed to swing the game their way as they went into the break with a 12-17 advantage.

However, Gloucester Rugby were quickly back on terms as Stephen Varney seized possession from the restart and Corey Howells went over.

Once again though, Sale responded strongly and two tries from Tom Curtis looked to have secured the game. But a yellow card for Tom Roebuck as he took out Reece Dunn as the Gloucester Rugby back chased his own kick ahead turned the game on its head.

The Cherry and Whites took a quick tap and Reece Dunn forced his way over. Tom Stanton then went over from close range but, crucially, both conversions were missed and the gap was 27-29 with just the restart to come.

Sale looked to have it covered, but flapped at the restart and Varney needed no second invitation to pin his ears back and make the line to snatch the win.

[caption id="attachment_28229" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Alex Morgan Alex Morgan lifts the Plate (c) PPA UK[/caption]

 
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Sat 28 Nov
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