Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Humphreys praises Gloucester grit

Gloucester's director of rugby David Humphreys praised the determination of his team after they overcame the early sending-off of flanker Matt Kvesic to record a convincing 35-13 Aviva Premiership victory over London Irish.

Jonny May, Dan Thomas and Henry Purdy scored Gloucester's tries with Greig Laidlaw converting one and kicking six penalties. Alex Lewington and Andy Short scored tries for the Irish with Chris Noakes adding a penalty.

"It was a difficult game as the first 20 minutes were funny being stuck in our 22. The character of the side then shone through as we refused to give up easy points," Humphreys said.

"We had a strong wind in our favour in the second half so we dug in and took our opportunities when they arrived."

On the sending-off of influential flanker Kvesic, who was given his marching orders on 23 minutes for a tip tackle on Tomas O'Leary, Humphreys added: " Matt is very disappointed and is very apologetic to the group. He was a little bit unfortunate but it was an automatic red card under the letter of the law.

"There were mitigating circumstances as there was no intent. We will go home and have a look at it but a ban is a likelihood bearing in mind World Rugby's stance on this matter."

Any ban would put Kvesic out of next week's visit to Bath and probably the two European Champions Cup play-off games.

"Bath will be a huge challenge as they will be anxious to secure a home Premiership semi-final," Humphreys said. "We will prepare but we have to bear in mind the European games as there's a huge amount of stake at this late stage of the season."

Irish interim head coach Glenn Delaney was critical of his team's performance.

"We weren't accurate enough and the penalties kept coming against us, which left us with a mountain to climb," he said.

"After a bright start when we didn't make hay with the chances we had, the red card was a momentum-changer as they played brilliantly in a broken play scenario."

Irish scrum-half O'Leary was injured by Kvesic in the tip tackle and was unable to resume. As a result Irish were forced to switch outside half Chris Noakes to the scrum half berth as they only had schoolboy Callum Watson on the bench.

"Callum was in school yesterday and it was too early to bring him off (the bench). Chris Noakes held up an end but we lost a lot when Tomas went off," Delaney explained.


From Belfast Telegraph