Home European Challenge Cup Gloucester take win over Newcastle to get semi final spot

Gloucester take win over Newcastle to get semi final spot

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Gloucester set up a Challenge Cup semi-final against Newcastle with a 33-28 victory over Connacht at the Sportsground on Saturday.

Gloucester opened the scoring through Australian hooker James Hanson in the fourth minute but Connacht scrum-half Kieran Marmion levelled matters four minutes later.

Connacht scored their second midway through the first half. Tom McCartney made the initial break before Bundee Aki profited from an excellent offload to dot down.

But once again, Gloucester pegged the home side back with Tom Marshall going over in the 27th minute, profiting from plenty of space on the overlap out on the left wing.

The Cherry and Whites began to take control of the game and, after having a try disallowed, they eventually capitalised on their superiority courtesy of a moment of individual brilliance from centre Henry Trinder.

Owen Williams slotted the conversion as the home side took a 17-10 lead into the interval.

Williams added a penalty three minutes after the break but just two minutes later Nigerian-born winger Niyi Adeolokun showed great appetite to get on the end of a Kieran Marmion grubber kick and halve the deficit.

All of a sudden, Connacht were back to within a couple and the momentum was well and truly in their favour after Carter landed a penalty from the tee.

However, Gloucester pulled away again when John Afoa went over on his 100th appearance after Mark Atkinson had made the initial break in the 56th minute. Williams slotted the conversion to make it 27-18.

Williams’ 63rd-minute penalty extended Gloucester’s lead to 30-18 with 63 minutes gone but soon after the Cherry and Whites went down to 14 men in the 67th minute when Lewis Ludlow was sin-binned for a no-arms tackle.

And with 10 minutes to go, things reached boiling point when Aki’s grubber kick bounced perfectly for Matt Healy to run on to and dot down. Carty’s conversion meant Connacht trailed by just two points at 30-28 with the extra man advantage.

Late on, Jarrad Butler was yellow-carded for a deliberate knockdown from which Billy Twelvetrees extended the lead with a penalty with a couple of minutes to go.

Gloucester showed the required concentration on defence and closed out the victory after a tense finale.

The scorers:

For Connacht: 
Tries: Marmion, Aki, Adeolokun, Healy
Con: Ronaldson
Pens: Ronaldson, Carty
Yellow Card: Butler

For Gloucester:
Tries: Hanson, Marshall, Trinder, Afoa
Cons: Williams 2
Pens: Williams 2, Twelvetrees
Yellow Cards: Morgan, Ludlow

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3 COMMENTS

  1. @DavidS:

    Jip, Gloucester made the final last season where they lost against Stade, so hopefully they can repeat making the final under Ackermann.

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