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Cherry and Whites hold off Ospreys


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Latest rugby union news

Gloucester maintained their interest in the LV= Cup with a bonus-point 32-25 victory over Ospreys at Kingsholm.

The home side scored four tries through Aled Thomas, a penalty award, Ollie Thorley and Dan Thomas.

Billy Burns kicked a penalty and three conversions with Aled Thomas kicking a late penalty as Gloucester held off a committed Ospreys revival.

The visitors picked up two yellow cards during the game, which helped to ensure that this was their third consecutive defeat in the competition, which has seen them already concede a total of 104 points and collect only two points.

Ben John, Richard Fussell and Tom Grabham scored their tries with Sam Davies adding two penalties and two conversions but it still left them facing a meaningless but stiff task away at Bath next Saturday.

Gloucester selected a trio of 2014 Junior World Cup Winners in their back division with Burns, Callum Braley and Henry Purdy lining up. In the pack, there was more experience with Dan Murphy, Darren Dawidiuk and Elliott Stooke all included.

Ospreys gave debuts to flanker Olly Cracknell and lock Tevita Cavubati with centre Jonathan Spratt captaining a young side.

The visitors made a poor start as Gloucester took a fifth-minute lead when Aled Thomas dashed over to score the opening try.

Burns converted before Ospreys lock, Rynier Bernardo, who was injured in the movement leading up to the try, was helped from the field with a leg injury to be replaced by Rhodri Hughes.

Gloucester continued to dominate the opening period and deservedly extended their lead with a penalty try award after the Welsh side collapsed a driving maul. Burns converted to give the hosts a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Davies kicked Ospreys' first points with a penalty before, against the run of play, they added a try. Dawidiuk's telegraphed pass was intercepted by John, who ran 35 metres to score for Davies to add the conversion.

Ospreys suffered a second injury blow when number eight Morgan Allen departed in a dazed condition with Ifereimi Boladau coming on as his replacement.

There were two further setbacks for them in quick succession as Tom Habberfield was yellow carded for Burns to kick the resulting penalty.

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A Davies penalty attempt hit a post and although he made no mistake with his second effort, the outside half blotted his copybook by being sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on.

Down to 13 men, Ospreys could not prevent Thorley crossing for the hosts' third try to give Gloucester a 22-13 half-time advantage.

Within minutes of the restart, Gloucester had their bonus point when Dan Thomas charged down Fussell's clearance to pick up and score.

Habberfield and the impressive Davies returned from the bin to spearhead an improved second-half performance from the Ospreys.

The introduction of replacement prop, Cai Griffiths also strengthened their scrum and they were rewarded when Fussell scored their second try, with Davies succeeding with an excellent touchline conversion.

Ospreys continued to threaten but the home side sealed victory with an Aled Thomas penalty before the Welsh had the final say on the score sheet when Grabham collected a clever cross-field kick from Davies to crash over.

Gloucester's replacement hooker, Alex Lutui, picked up a late yellow card but despite being down to 14 men for the last five minutes, the hosts just held on.

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