Gloucester 48

(tries Purdy 2, Moriarty, Sharples, Kvesic, Puafisi; cons Hook 6; pens Hook 2)

London Welsh 10

(try Kirwan; cons Robinson; pens Robinson)

London Welsh’s sorry season continued as they slipped to their 25th consecutive defeat at Kingsholm on Saturday.

Conceding 27 points in as many minutes left the Exiles with a mountain to climb, but Welsh dug deep, scored a try through Carl Kirwan.

However, Gloucester hit back in style with a try double from Henry Purdy and a Sila Puafisi score as the hosts ran away with it.

Fly half James Hook nudged the home side ahead with a fifth-minute penalty, but the Exiles soon levelled through a Will Robinson kick.

Hook struck again and Gloucester scored their opening try when Ross Moriarty powered over from close range. Hook added the extras.

From the restart, excellent decoy running opened a hole for Charlie Sharples to ghost through and over for Gloucester’s second try.

Welsh needed to halt Gloucester’s sudden momentum, but their cause was not helped when Alan Awcock was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock on.

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Gloucester took full advantage when Matt Kvesic hit the line at pace to power over.

Hook pushed a kick into the corner and Gloucester’s fourth try seemed to be theirs for the taking,but Matt Corker rose highest to steal the ball at the line-out.

Awcock returned to the fray just in time to see former All Blacks star Piri Weepu offload for Dean Schofield to crash over, only for try to be ruled out by the TMO after the ball was judged to have gone forward.

Undeterred, Welsh continued to take the game to Gloucester as they went into the second half trailing 27-3.

And they were rewarded when Robinson pushed another penalty into the corner and a combination of good hands and support play ended with Taione Vea sending Kirwan in under the posts. Robinson converted.

But Gloucester still possessed a clinical edge that the Exiles could only envy and just five minutes later Purdy, the former Chipping Norton junior, burst clear for the first of his brace of tries.

Welsh refused to take a backward step, but were missing the final pass and the ability to turn pressure into points – a problem which has plagued them the whole season.

Gloucester had no such problems and as if to prove as much, they manufactured a fifth try that couldn’t even have been described as a half chance.

Purdy leapt to keep a London Welsh clearance in play. The winger was quickly back on his feet to accept a return pass, sprinted forwards and despite being tackled, acrobatically touch down.

Sensing that score may have taken the wind from Welsh sails, the home side poured forward in search of a sixth try.

Although Sila Puafisi was denied by the TMO, the replacement prop dived over moments later to round off another disappointing day for Welsh.


Gloucester: Burns, Sharples (Robson HT), Trinder (Atkinson 9), Meakes, Purdy, Hook, Braley, Murphy (Thomas 53), Lutui (Dawidiuk 48), Afoa (Puafisi 48), Savage (Stooke 61), Hudson, Moriarty, Kvesic (Rowan 48), Kalamafoni (Evans 52). London Welsh: Kear, Stegmann, Reynolds (J Lewis 60), Tincknell, Awcock (May 62), Robinson, Weepu (R Lewis 60), Aholelei (Trevett 52), Elloway (Morris 76), Vea (Gilding 52), Schofield, Down (Corker 9), West (McCaffrey 61), Kirwan, Pienaar. Referee: I Tempest Attendance: 12,940.