London Welsh    9 (pens Robinson 3)
Gloucester    18 (pens A Thomas 6)

LONDON Welsh played like a side who didn’t know how to win as they slipped to a tenth straight defeat of the season at the Kassam Stadium.

The Exiles were in contention for much of a scrappy LV= Cup clash yesterday, but were made to pay for passing up two very kickable penalties.

These happened with Welsh trailing 12-9 and 15-9, and on both occasions, the crucial try was not forthcoming.

You could not fault the Exiles for ambition, but surely this was the time to play pragmatic rugby?

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Gloucester captain Aled Thomas obviously thought so, and rubbed salt in Welsh’s wounds with his fifth and sixth penalties of a match, which saw the Exiles concede no tries for the first time this season.

If ever Welsh were to get off the mark, this looked like being the game and it will get much tougher as they return to Aviva Premiership at Wasps next Sunday.

Welsh’s selection owed much to injuries and keeping others fresh.

Gloucester made good use of their academy, while wing Charlie Norman and prop James Gibbons were late additions to the side.

Hooker Luke Cole acquitted himself well on his first start, while flanker Dan Thomas shone.

The Exiles got off to a flier, with flanker Pete Browne breaking into the visitors’ 22 and forcing a penalty.

Fly half Will Robinson slotted from near the touchline.

Welsh earned a couple of scrum penalties, while Robinson was off target with a long-range three-pointer.

Exiles loosehead Shane Cahill and Gloucester tighthead Shaun Knight were sin-binned after repeated scrum infringements.

The visitors equalised with a simple penalty from fly half Thomas on 26 minutes, while Welsh briefly went down to 13 men with the sin-binning of lock Dean Schofield.

This allowed Thomas to kick a second penalty to make it 6-3 before Cahill and Knight returned. Robinson landed his second penalty to punish some Gloucester crossing on the edge of their 22.

Thomas and Robinson then traded kicks – the latter slotting from the halfway line on the whistle.

Welsh, however, were behind three minutes into the second half.

Having failed to clear the ball from the kick-off, they were the penalised and Thomas made it 12-9 very easily.

Gloucester forced a five-metre scrum, but Welsh turned the ball over.

Thomas came up short with a long-range penalty on 63 minutes.

When Welsh did secure field position, they passed up a kickable penalty and lost the resulting line-out.

A minute later, Thomas took the more direct approach to put Gloucester 15-9 ahead.

Welsh again passed up a simple three points to go for the corner.

They went close with a maul, but after several phases, Robinson kicked through and the chance was lost.

Thomas compounded Welsh’s misery by kicking his sixth penalty from near halfway.

London Welsh: Awcock (Crane 68), Stegmann, Reynolds, May (capt), Scott, Robinson, Rowley (R Lewis 59), Cahill (Cooper 58), Britton (Morris 58), Gilding (Vea 45), Schofield, Down, P Browne (Liston 51), Vella (Vea 21-31), Pienaar (Corker 68). Rep not used: Ross.

Gloucester: McColl, Monahan, Isaacs, Meakes, Norman (Burns 48), A Thomas (capt), Braley, Gibbons, Cole, Knight (Y Thomas 68), Stooke, Hicks, Ludlow (Y Thomas 21-31), D Thomas, Evans. Reps not used: Goodrick-Clarke, Spencer, Fuller, Safe, Bassett, Evans.

Referee: R Thomas (Wales).
Man-of-the-match: D Thomas.
Attendance: 2,906.

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