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Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership
Match Date: Sat 03 May 2014
Kick Off: 15:00
Referee: Steve Lee
TV Match Official: Rowan Kitt
Assistant Referee: Ashley Rowden
Assistant Referee: Robin Goodliffe
The first half was played at a frenetic pace with both sides chancing their arm. Both teams were awarded kickable penalties in the opening stanza, but opted to turn them down which demonstrates the attitudes and approach of both sides.
The Cherry and Whites got off to a perfect start and crossed for their first score after just two minutes. England centre and Gloucester captain Billy Twelvetrees made the initial break before offloading to Jimmy Cowan. The ball was quickly recycled and passed wide to Sione Kalamafoni who had a simple run in. Twelvetrees converted and not long after was substituted after sustaining an injury.
Charlie Sharples was next to score after a great bit of play from Freddie Burns. The fly half caught the Exiles back three napping and booted the ball deep towards the Irish line for Charlie Sharples to chase, gather and score a termendous try. The wingers score made it 12-0 to the hosts.
Irish were showing plenty of attacking endeavour and l=were looking to play wide when the opportunity presented itself. From a solid Irish scrum the ball was spun from Humphreys to Homer who gave an early pass to Marland Yarde who had a little bit of space to play with. The England winger fended off Jonny May before sprinting for the try line where he stepped Rpb Cook before diving in the corner. it was a great piece of individual brilliance.
Irish had their tails up and were controlling the val, but credit to Gloucester who were taking their opportunities whenever they had them. Kalamafoni drove towards the irish line and was stopped inches out. The ball was passed wide to replacement winger Shane monahan who powered his way over for the fourth try of the half.
the last 10 minutes of the first half was dominated by Brian Smith's side as they won a string of penalties that resulted in Jimmy Cowan being sent to the sin bin. Two minutes from the break Marland yarde darted passed a handful of defenders and powered his way over to bring irish back into the match. Humphreys conversion made it Gloucester 17 London Irish 12 at half time.
The Exiles made a terrible start to the second half and paid the price again for a defensive lapse that saw Rob Cook field a high kick and pass to Mike Tindall who was in acres of space. The centre drew Ian Humphreys before passing to Shane Monahan who had just enough pace and power to score in the corner. That extended Gloucester's lead to 22-12 and there were still 38 minutes left.
Irish survived another onslaught from the home side before a turnover fell fortuitously for Tomås O'Leary who was able to move the ball wide into the hands of the ever dangerous Marland Yarde. The winger was tackled just short of the line before passing back inside to replacement back row forward Gerard Ellis who dotted down. Suddenly Irish were also in try bonus point range.
freddie burns kicked the first penalty of the match on 52 minutes before Marland Yarde was at it again. It was a great exhibition of world class finishing and it was aided by Ian Humphreys who was creating the space for his outside backs to flourish. Humphreys added the conversion to make it a one point ball game at Irish 24 Gloucester 25.
Irish were in the ascendancy and when they were awarded a penalty straight in front of the posts Humphreys made no mistake to put Irish in the lead for the first time in the match.
10 minutes remained and a combination of Irish ill discipline and Gloucester tenacity forced them to regain the lead that they would never rekindle.
Shane Monahan scored his hatrick try to confirm the result with three minutes to go. Myles Dorrian kicked a late penalty to put Irish in bonus point range, but that was dashed when Freddie Burns kicked a penalty on full time to make the final score Gloucester 38 London Irish 30.
The Exiles host Sale Sharks next Saturday in the final match of the season.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 0-7, 0-12, 5-12, 5-17, 12-17, 12-22, 17-22, 17-25, 24-25, 27-25, 27-28, 27-35, 30-35, 30-38
Scorers: London Irish: Tries: Yarde (11,38, 62), Ellis (47); Conversions: Humphreys (2); Penalties: Humphreys (69), Dorrian (79); Gloucester: Tries: Kalamafoni (2); Sharples (9); Monahan (26, 41, 77); Conversions: Twelvetress; Penalties: Burns (52, 73, 80); Conversions: Burns
15. Tom Homer (rep: Alex Lewington, 62); 14. Marland Yarde; 13. Fergus Mulchrone; 12. Eamonn Sheridan; 11. Andrew Fenby ; 10. Ian Humphreys (rep: Myles Dorrian, 77); 9. Tomás O’Leary (Captain) (rep: Darren Allinson, 54); 1. Matt Parr (rep: Tom Smallbone, 77); 2. Jimmy Stevens (rep: Mike Mayhew, 55); 3. Leo Halavatau (rep: Jami Hagan, 47); 4. Ian Gough (rep: Bryn Evans, 47); 5. Nic Rouse; 6. Kieran Low; 7. Jebb Sinclair; 8. Chris Hala'ufia (rep: Gerard Ellis, 40)
Replacements: 16. Mike Mayhew; 17. Tom Smallbone; 18. Jamie Hagan; 19. Bryn Evans; 20. Gerard Ellis; 21. Alex Lewington; 22. Myles Dorrian; 23. Darren Allinson
15. Rob Cook; 14. Charlie Sharples (rep: Billy meakes, 23); 13. Mike Tindall; 12. Billy Twelvetrees (Captain) (rep: Shane Monahan (9); 11. Jonny May; 10. Freddie Burns; 9. Jimmy Cowan (rep: Dan Robson, 63); 1. Yann Thomas (rep: Dan Murphy, 55); 2. Huia Edmonds (rep: Dan George, 75); 3. Sila Puafisi (rep: Shaun Knight, 63); 4. Elliott Stooke; 5. Will James (rep: Tom Savage, 52); 6. Sione Kalamafoni; 7. Matt Kvesic (rep: Tom Young, 64); 8. Ben Morgan
Replacements: 16. Dan George; 17. Dan Murphy; 18. Shaun Knight; 19. Tom Savage; 20. Tom Young; 21. Dan Robson; 22. Billy Meakes; 23. Shane Monahan
Referee: Steve Lee