Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

David Humphreys hails Gloucester character after they hit back to beat Bristol

Gloucester rugby director David Humphreys was pleased with the way his side bounced back from a mediocre first half to finish with a try-bonus point 26-18 victory over Aviva Premiership basement outfit Bristol.

But it was tough luck on Bristol whose acting head coach Mark Tainton was disappointed that a perfectly good try, from his point of view, was ruled out at a crucial time.

Bristol led a stuttering Gloucester 6-0 at half-time via penalties from full-back Jason Woodward and ended the match on a high as they missed a losing bonus point by one point when centre Jack Wallace and replacement Luke Arscott crossed for touchdowns, Arscott adding a conversion.

The damage was done during a 26-minute period after the break when Gloucester dominated and scored tries through centre Matt Scott, scrum-half and captain Willi Heinz, a penalty try and the fourth crucial touchdown by wing Henry Purdy, full-back James Hook adding three conversions.

Humphreys said: "There is no doubt the first half was not as good as we would like and that was credit to the way Bristol played and what they brought to the game.

"But we knew we were better than that first-half performance and it was more about making sure what we did we did well rather than changing anything.

"We did the basics much better, created field position and took the opportunities that came our way."

Gloucester started the match down among the strugglers but their win has bounced them back up the table.

Humphreys, though, said: "To a large part, the league table is an irrelevance at this time of the season. For us, it never frames how we approach the week.

"We are conscious that Bristol are a team who are striving hard to move up the table and they were desperate coming into the game.

"The mark of a very good team is that every week they are desperate to win and I thought today, despite a disappointing first half, we came out in the second half and showed that desperation for 26 minutes. "

However, Tainton was less than overjoyed at the disallowed try.

He said: "A big swing was our try being disallowed and then a penalty try being awarded to them and a yellow card against us.

"That is a 14-point swing. We listened to the TMO in the stand and he could not see much wrong with it. He is saying that the player who had run the short line did not have an effect on the defence and the referee has had another opinion.

"But the referee makes his decisions and we have to abide by it. "

Bristol looked to have more about them in the first period than Gloucester, and Tainton was pleased with the way his struggling team went about their task.

"I thought we controlled the first half well," he said.

"We contained them and played some good football and they gave away penalties. We kicked the opportunities we had.

"But I was disappointed with our display after half-time. Our lack of concentration and discipline hurt us."


From Belfast Telegraph