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Gloucester run in five tries to deny Wasps top spot in Aviva Premiership

Wasps missed the chance to go top of the Aviva Premiership as they were outgunned by a fiercely committed Gloucester at Kingsholm.

The home forwards were the major influence on the game, preventing their opponents from getting any fluency.

Richard Hibbard, Mark Atkinson, Matt Scott, Charlie Sharples and Henry Purdy scored the Gloucester tries with James Hook converting four and adding a penalty in a 36-18 win.

Thomas Young scored two tries for Wasps with Jimmy Gopperth kicking two penalties and a conversion.

Gloucester began strongly and took a fifth-minute lead when Hook fired over a penalty before Wasps rallied with two well-judged kicks from Dan Robson and Danny Cipriani securing them a platform in the home 22.

At a line-out five metres out, the Wasps three-quarters joined the driving maul for Young to score the opening try, but Gopperth was badly off target with his conversion attempt.

Despite this reverse, the home forwards allowed Gloucester to have the better of the opening quarter with the visitors conceding a number of penalties as they struggled to cope with the pressure.

Gloucester gained their reward when Hibbard crashed over following a driving line-out and with Hook's successful conversion, the hosts deservedly led 10-5 after 20 minutes.

Rob Miller burst out of defence for the best piece of attacking play during the first half but after a threatening 40-metre run, the Wasps full-back passed the wrong way and the chance was lost.

A minute from the interval, Wasps conceded their eighth penalty of the half, this time for a line-out push, but Hook's kick at goal fell narrowly short.

Gloucester brought on Matt Kvesic in place of Jacob Rowan at the interval but it was the visitors who started the second half with a bang.

A couple of drives from Young and two penetrating runs from Kyle Eastmond secured Wasps a platform in the home 22 as they showed far more urgency than anything they had displayed in the first half.

They reduced the deficit after 46 minutes when Gopperth kicked a penalty before bringing on Ashley Johnson and Marty Moore in the pack in the hope of providing further impetus.

Gopperth was on target with his second penalty to edge Wasps back ahead but an error from Cipriani gifted the hosts their second try.

His clearance was charged down by John Afoa and when the outside-half tried to retrieve his mistake, he fumbled the ball which allowed Atkinson to pick up and score with Hook's conversion giving Gloucester a 17-11 at the end of the third quarter.

It soon got worse for Wasps when they conceded another try after a strong run from Atkinson was supported by Scott, who picked up to force his way over.

They were narrowly denied by the TMO before Young scored his second try with six minutes to go.

A nerve-racking finish looked on the cards but two minutes later the match was sealed when Sharples easily won the race to a long kick ahead from Will Heinz for a bonus point.

Wasps' miserable afternoon was completed when Purdy scored a fifth a minute from time after another visitors' attack broke down.


From Belfast Telegraph