Gloucester fight back from 21-0 down to beat Wasps

Wales winger Louis Rees-Zammit stayed clear of Ali Crossdale in a lengthy sprint to begin the Gloucester comeback
Gloucester (0) 27
Tries: Rees-Zammit, Chapman, penalty try, Clarke Con: Hastings Pen: Hastings
Wasps (21) 21
Tries: Atkinson, Shields, Odendaal Cons: Atkinson 3

Gloucester scored 27 unanswered second-half points to recover from 21-0 down and beat Wasps in a memorable Premiership comeback at Kingsholm.

Louis Rees-Zammit ran the length of the field to cross and turn the tide, with Charlie Chapman’s try giving more hope.

The visitors had two players in the sin-bin as Gloucester scored a penalty try to go 22-21 up, with Freddie Clarke going over for a bonus-point touchdown.

Charlie Atkinson, Brad Shields and Burger Odendaal had scored for Wasps.

There was a minute’s silence before kick-off in memory of Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday, while black armbands were worn by both sides.

Wasps – who have had well-publicised financial problems over the summer – played all the rugby in the first half, despite losing Italy full-back Matteo Minozzi to injury early on.

Alfie Barbeary thought he had opened the scoring before the television match official (TMO) chalked it off for obstruction, but the excellent Atkinson showed quick feet to dummy the Gloucester defence and cross under the posts.

Shields then went over following a fantastic line-break from John Ryan and Wasps’ South African debutant Odendaal, who cut through the home side’s defence to put them 21-0 at the break – the first time Gloucester had failed to score in the first half at home since February 2020.

Wasps should have put the game out of sight early in the second half but an error allowed Wales winger Rees-Zammit to sprint clear, angling his run perfectly to repel the chasing Ali Crossdale for a world-class finish.

The visitors were already beginning to lose discipline by the time Tom Willis was yellow-carded for collapsing a maul, and shortly after Biyi Alo followed him off for stopping a guaranteed Gloucester try – also resulting in seven points for the Cherry and Whites.

Clarke’s close-range try was initially not given until the TMO showed the ball was grounded, and Gloucester successfully defended the final play to earn a seventh Premiership victory in eight over their opponents.

Minute's silence
Players stood arm in arm for a minute’s silence before kick-off

Gloucester head coach George Skivington told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

“We were off in that first half without a doubt, but we were only marginally off – Wasps were very good.

“The score was not flattering at half-time without a doubt, but actually when you break down the play we were just a little bit off what we’ve tried to execute.

“Second half we got a little bit sharper and more at peace with how we’re trying to play.

[On Rees-Zammit] “He’s special from that point of view – he can produce something that can turn a game and sometimes you need that.”

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

“I thought first half we were pretty clinical, our discipline was second to none and we looked in full control – we controlled everything.

“Second half, complete opposite – I tell you what, if you bought a ticket on one end of the field you got your money’s worth, didn’t you.

“There were a lot of things we’ve worked really hard on and I thought there were some pleasing aspects in it – we’ve not walked away with the win but we have walked away with a point.

“For the club, after the negativity that’s been around the last three or four months, it would’ve been great to reward the support we’ve had from our supporters.”

Gloucester: Evans; Rees-Zammit, Harris, Atkinson, Thorley; Hastings Chapman; Elrington, Singleton, Balmain, Clarke, Craig, Ackermann (capt), Taylor, Morgan.

Replacements: Socino, Rapava-Ruskin, Ford-Robinson, Jordan, Tuisue, Meehan, Twelvetrees, Moyle.

Wasps: Minozzi; Kibirige, Spink, Odendaal, Bassett; Atkinson, Robson; Hislop, Cruse, Ryan, Launchbury (capt), McDonald, T Willis, Sheilds, Barbeary.

Replacements: Frost, Millar-Mills, Alo, Morris, J Willis, Porter, Mills, Crossdale.

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe.

Source link