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#ThursdayTales: Ulster Rugby v Gloucester Rugby 2007

#ThursdayTales: Ulster Rugby v Gloucester Rugby 2007
Gloucester Rugby gain try bonus point after 20 minutes

9 November 2007

Ulster 14 Gloucester Rugby 32

Team: Ian Balshaw; James Simpson-Daniel, Anthony Allen, Mike Tindall, Lesley Vainikolo; Ryan Lamb, Rory Lawson; Nick Wood, Ollie Azam, Carlos Nieto, Alex Brown, Peter Buxton, Alasdair Strokosch, Akapusi Qera, Luke Narraway.

Replacements: Mike Prendergast, Andy Titterrell, Christian Califano, Ollie Morgan, Marco Bortolami, Chris Paterson, Gareth Delve

Gloucester Rugby travelled to Northern Ireland, and Ravenhill, to play their first Heineken Cup game of the season.  They proceeded to blow away Ulster with scintillating rugby, and posted four tries by the middle of the first-half.  At that time, it was the second quickest try scoring bonus in the history of the competition.

[caption id="attachment_31581" align="alignleft" width="266"] Akapusi Qera of Gloucester races away with the ball during the Heineken Cup match between Ulster and Gloucester at Ravenhill on November 9, 2007(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)[/caption]

7 minutes: Ian Balshaw broke from deep, passed to Luke Narraway, who made further ground.  Ryan Lamb carried the move on, and Fijian flanker, Akapusi Qera broke up the middle of the field.  Lamb kicked a grubber, and Lesley Vainikolo touched down for the try.

10 minutes: Ulster tried to break out, but Neil Best spilt a pass in his 22.  Mike Tindall spotted an overlap, Balshaw sped away and fed James Simpson-Daniel, who in turn passed back to Balshaw, who sent Tindall powering over the line for a superb try.

17 minutes: Luke Narraway charged off a scrum, and passed to Qera.  Lamb, Tindall and Vainikolo all handled before Lamb waltzed through some very poor Ulster tackles, to score and convert.

22 minutes: Ulster tried to get back into the game and made some promising attacks, but Ryan Lamb picked off a pass from his opposite number Paddy Wallace, under the Gloucester posts, and set sail, to send James Simpson-Daniel on his way.  There was always only going to be one winner then, as Sinbad clinched the bonus point.

28 minutes: Alex Brown won a turnover after yet another Ulster attack broke down.  Simpson-Daniel carried, and Ian Balshaw streaked away for the fifth try.  Lamb converted.

To Ulster’s credit they fought back with two tries by half-time, when Gloucester led 29-14.  The second-half, following all those tries, was a more dour affair, with Ulster trying vainly to get back in the game, but resolute Gloucester tackling kept them out, and the only score was a Ryan Lamb penalty after 68 minutes.

Gloucester Rugby topped their group, and played Munster in the Heineken quarter-finals at Kingsholm.  Munster won 16-3, and many may recall that Chris Paterson, to put it mildly, had an off-day with the boot.

With thanks to the Gloucester Rugby Heritage team.
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