Gloucester pulled out an exceptional attacking display in a first half thriller, at the Kingsholm Stadium. A Gloucester victory over Worcester Warriors 24-19 displays the promise that Johan Ackermann’s side holds in 2017/18. Alistair Stokes reports on some of the best, worst and most meaningful moments of last night’s game.
Gloucester entertained fans in their home game last night. The ‘cherry and whites’ continue to show green shoots growing from the fresh start instilled by new head coach Johan Ackermann. Another summer signing Jason Woodward starred, alongside wing man Ollie Thorley in the Gloucester victory over Worcester.
The loss of England winger Jonny May over the summer was substantial for the cherry and whites. The timing of Woodward’s and Thorley’s impact have softened this blow, showing plenty of potency in attack. There are so many fullbacks eager to kick for territory and quite rightly; when it leads to taking the upper hand.
Woodward’s instinct to run into space immediately is a breath of fresh air and is producing results.
Burns Steps Up and ‘the Twelvetrees of Old’
Billy Burns has been performing excellently for Gloucester over the last three seasons, and continued in this form on Friday night. His game management was top notch and his miss-out pass to Woodward, for Thorley’s first try was exceptional.
At 100% with the boot and a staggering 16 tackles from his fly-half position, Burns’ contributions may go under the radar far too often. Similarly, Billy Twelvetrees contribution in the first half was another key component to Gloucester’s 17-6 halftime lead.
Two moments in particular included a beautiful cut-out pass to the wing, and later his line break and wide pass for Thorley’s second try, were brilliant. The former Gloucester captain was beginning to resemble the 2013 British and Irish Lions edition of Billy Twelvetrees.
In recent times, it was a high error rate that saw the former Leicester Tigers center fall out of international contention, which–unfortunately for Glaws–began to creep in more to his game in the second half.
Henry Trinder Produces Pure Magic
Henry Trinder (see main picture) is a man I have mentioned many times before, speaking of his outrageous talents and torrid injury history. An Mark Atkinson injury saw Trinder take to the field after half-time. Two minutes into stepping onto the pitch, he made a nice line break. He dummied past two players, switching passes beautifully with Willi Heinz and Twelvetrees in a 40 meter effort to produce Gloucesters third and final try.
‘Magical’ really was the only way most of us could sum it up. Trinder pure magic.
‘Henry Trinder, playing like Harry Potter’ ?
— Ali (@LWOS_Alistair) September 22, 2017
Just in case you missed it, or just want to relive it (or the wonderful Nick Mullins commentary) here it is.
“Henry Trinder playing like Harry Potter!”
What a try and what a start to the second half!
Majestic from Trinder ? pic.twitter.com/UrbvN6o8ef
— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) September 22, 2017
Worcester Become Their Own Worst Enemy
Worcesters chances seemed rather dim within the first seven minutes of the match. Captain Donncha O’Callaghan received a yellow card for not retreating for a penalty, when Heinz sniped for the try line. Both of Thorley’s tries came during those ten minutes the Irish international was sat on the sidelines.
Not to be outdone though, Worcester came back much more convincingly in the second half. With British and Irish Lion Ben Te’o leading the charge, the Warriors found themselves at the Gloucester five meter line four times.
With that, the midlands side became their own worst enemy, losing their possession three out of four times on attack. They suffered an complete line-out malfunction, penalties and an 80th minute knock-on stunted any hope of claiming victory. Worcester almost missed a chance when Josh Adams almost butchered a try.
The Worcester fullback neither pinned his ears back or passed on to Dean Hammond, instead hesitating and being tackled. Fortunately for the Warriors fans, their teams threat caused the Gloucester line to narrow, allowing Perry Humphries to cross over in the opposite corner.
Mills Returns to Full Fitness a Highlight
Positives this week include the news of the return to fitness of flyhallf/centre Ryan Mills. Mills was forced to step in at number ten for most of last season, following Tom Heathcote’s concussion issues.
Despite looking slightly rusty from the tee, Mills highlight was a subtle cross-field kick for Humprhries first try. The winger did excellently well to win the aerial battle, and crossed over for the first of his two tries on the night.
All in all, it was a pretty entertaining Friday night game that had some beautiful moments, with an 80th minute nail biter finish. Trying hard to the last, Worcester made their way up the pitch to try and steal a win. Unable to complete the task, with Gloucester victory over Worcester giving hope for their title aspirations.
Worcester register their first losing bonus point of the season, while still remaining firmly at the bottom of the table.
“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images