Full-time: Gloucester 47 London Irish 3By Jonathan Low
December 15, 2012
Shane Monahan scored four tries as Gloucester romped to a comprehensive 47-3 defeat of London Irish in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Brian Smith's side were completely outplayed for the majority of the game and endured a pointless second-half as the home side ran riot.
Gloucester ran in six tries in total, with the others coming from ROb Cook and Dan Robson.
The result virtually sends Irish out of the competition, with two just two games remaining in Pool 1.
It is their second loss in a week to Gloucester, after losing 29-22 at the Madejski last weekend.
Smith said afterwards: "We rolled the dice; we had a bit of illness in the squad, so we had five or so rookies in our side.
"So we bought a relatively young side down and the first 20 minutes was a decent contest.
"We conceded one pretty soft try and then from the kick-off we conceded again which was very damaging.
"When you've got a young side out there belief is difficult to find."
Gloucester took an early lead through the man-of-the-moment Freddie Burns.
The recent England debutant scored 24 points for Gloucester last week against the Exiles, and it only took him six minutes into this game for him to get on the scoresheet.
However, Tom Homer, who was on kicking duties for the Exiles, replied with a penalty to make the scores 3-3.
Irish then had an opportunity to take the lead, but Homer's kick from the far left just edged past the posts.
It was the closest Irish would come to leading the game, as Nigel Davies' side took control.
Shane Monahan scored two tries in the final five minutes of the first-half as Gloucester ran rampant.
Coupled with a further two penalties and the conversions, the home side had raced into a 23-3 lead at half-time.
It was extremely harsh on Brian Smith's side, and like last week, lapses in concentration at the end of a half had cost them dear
It didn't get any easier in the second half as full-back Rob Cook scored within minutes of the restart, bursting through the Irish defence far too easily.
And from then on, the second-half was one-way traffic as Gloucester dominated.
Monahan completed his hat-trick, and then added a fourth late on as the home side ran riot.
Replacement Dan Robson rounded off the scoring as Irish crashed to a soul-destroying defeat.
Smith will need to pick up his players quickly after this, and with Leicester coming to the Madesjki Stadium next weekend, things do not get any easier.
He said: "It was a disappointing performance but we'll dust ourselves down and crack on.
"We probably came out with a bit too much ambition and I think they played the conditions better than us.
"At half-time we felt they had played the conditions better.
"We're obviously disappointed but we'll bounce back."
On this performance, Irish will need a vast improvement to turn things around.
And this loss will do nothing for the side's confidence, as they return to Premiership action next weekend.
An exit from this competition maybe a blessing in disguise for the Exiles however, as they can now focus on surviving in the league.
Gloucester: Cook, Sharples, Tindall, Twelvetrees, Monahan, Burns, Cowan, Murphy, Dawidiuk, Harden, James, Hamilton (c), Savage, Qera, Kalamafoni. Reps: Britton, Wood, Knight, Cox, Evans, Robson, Molenaar, Thomas.
London Irish: Homer, Ojo, Shingler, Armitage, Watson, Geraghty, Allinson, Lahiff, Paice, Aulika, Sandford, Evans (c), Low, Gibson, Gray. Reps: Lawson, Yanuyanutawa, Halavatau, Garvey, Danaher, Tagicakibau, Gaston, Moates.
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)