FULL-TIME: London Irish 23 Gloucester 15By Matthew Sadler
February 03, 2012
London Irish crashed out of the LV= Cup despite a 23-15 victory over holders Gloucester.
Exiles needed to win the game as well as Newastle beating Leicester and they upheld their end of the bargain. However, Leicester won their tie 24-12.
Irish opened the scoring after just two minutes when Tom Homer slotted over from just inside the Gloucester half following a fine break from the returning Sailosi Tagicakibau.
It was one-way traffic in the opening stages and Brian Blaney crossed in the left corner six minutes later. Irish went through the phases before Blaney ran on to Shontayne Hape’s flat pass, held off two challenges and dived over. Homer narrowly missed the extras with his effort just wide of the left upright.
It was 11-0 after just 15 minutes when Homer made no mistake after an infringement at the scrum and that became 14-0 with another Homer kick.
Irish were threatening to run riot, but Gloucester edged their way back into the contest without really threatening the line.
Their best chance of the first half came when Dave Lewis burst forward from a scrum, but his grubber kick was well dealt with by the retreating Tagicakibau.
Dan Bowden injured his ankle late in the opening period and he made way at the break to be replaced by Adrian Jarvis.
Gloucester were much-improved in the second half and Mike Tindall, who was playing at fly-half, kicked their first points after Irish failed to roll away.
Exciting winger Ian Clark then raced the length of the field to cross for the visitors’ first try after Gloucester had turned over ball. Tindall added the extras to make it 14-10.
Homer kicked a penalty to increase Irish’s lead before adding another three points after Gloucester failed to release Matt Garvey after he had been tackled.
However, Gloucester responded with Clark’s second try. Eliota Fuimaoano-Sapolu found James Simpson-Daniel, who in turn offloaded for Clark to cross in the corner. Tindall missed the extras to leave the score at 20-15.
Homer had the final say when he slotted over from just inside the Gloucester half after Matt Cox was guilty of a high challenge on Max Lahiff.