Rugby

Gloucester see off Bristol to stay unbeaten

2018-09-15 08:20
Johan Ackermann (Getty Images)

London - Gloucester maintained their unbeaten start to the English Premiership season after coming from behind to beat west country rivals Bristol 35-13 at Kingsholm on Friday.

The Cherry and Whites were in trouble at 13-3 down at half-time but the home side recovered after the break to end the match well ahead of newly promoted Bristol.

Gloucester flyer Charlie Sharples scored two tries, with Gerbrandt Grobler, Matt Banahan and Ed Slater also scoring tries for the hosts.

Meanwhile, former England centre Billy Twelvetrees kicked two penalties and two conversions.

Luke Morahan scored Bristol's try, with Ireland's Ian Madigan adding two penalties and a conversion.

Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann was pleased that a stern talking to during the interval had the desired effect.

"We made it crystal clear at half-time that we weren't happy at the way we were playing, as we looked disorganised and weren't working hard enough," said the South African.

"We needed to be more direct - but I didn't have to say too much as the players knew they weren't performing and it was just a matter of physicality," Ackermann added.

Gloucester took the lead through an early Twelvetrees penalty but, minutes later, they were offside after the midfielder failed to take Danny Cipriani's pass and Madigan responded with a penalty of his own.

Madigan then showed his skill in open play to set up the first try of the match. His well-judged chip was collected by Steve Luatua, who sent Morahan away and clear on a 35-metre run to the line.

Madigan's conversion gave Bristol a 10-3 lead. He nudged the visitors further in front with a second penalty.

Gloucester then declined four kickable penalties in front of the posts in the hope of scoring a try only for Bristol to keep their line intact.

But in the opening minute of the second half, Gloucester did score the try they had long sought.

Twelvetrees contested the kick-off to gain possession for Gloucester and this allowed Lewis Ludlow to surge forward before Premiership debutant Grobler forced his way over.

Bristol then suffered two major setbacks, with former Gloucester prop John Afoa going off injured before veteran Australia back row George Smith was yellow carded as the visitors repeatedly infringed.

Gloucester capitalised on their numerical advantage to score their second try and go ahead when England playmaker Cipriani sent Sharples through a huge gap.

Smith was still on the sidelines when Gloucester scored their third try, Callum Braley's pass giving Sharples an easy run.

Smith came back on but Gloucester went 22-13 up heading into the final quarter. Late tries from Slater and Banahan underlined the Cherry and Whites' second-half dominance.

Bristol boss Pat Lam lamented his side's display after the break, saying: "The biggest issue was to lose the penalty count 20-8 and we'll have a good, hard look at our discipline as we shot ourselves in the foot.

"Some of our skills and decision-making were poor and the first 10 minutes of the second half proved to be crucial."

Read more on:    gloucester  |  johan ackermann  |  rugby
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