Late burst earns Gloucester win
Gloucester picked up their first away win in the Aviva Premiership this season with a resounding 46-10 success at the Kassam Stadium.
For an hour, Gloucester were far from impressive but once Exiles prop Taione Vea was yellow-carded they ran riot, scoring 31 points in the last 15 minutes.
Gloucester always had the edge in attack, with Dan Robson and Jonny May at the heart of their efforts. Their tries came from Mark Atkinson (two), Henry Purdy, Charlie Sharples, May and a penalty award with Greig Laidlaw kicking a penalty and four conversions. Billy Twelvetrees also kicked a penalty with James Hook adding a conversion.
For London Welsh, Ben Pienaar scored a first half try which was converted by Olly Barkley who also kicked a penalty. The hosts were still in contention at half-time as they only trailed 12-10 but Gloucester totally dominated a one-sided second half.
Welsh made three changes to their starting line-up from last week's heavy defeat at Bath. Tom May was recalled to captain the side in place of the injured Tim Molenaar, Rhys Crane replaced Seb Stegmann on the wing with the introduction of Ollie Stedman for Pete Browne being the only change in the pack.
Gloucester also made three changes from last week's game against Exeter. Laidlaw, Ross Moriarty and Tom Savage were omitted to make way for Robson, Matt Kvesic and Elliott Stooke, who all made their first starts of the season.
Welsh dominated the opening exchanges and had the first opportunity for points but former Gloucester player, Barkley, was wide with his penalty attempt.
Gloucester suffered an early blow when prop Dan Murphy limped off to be replaced by Yann Thomas before they too missed a penalty when Hook was unsuccessful from straight in front of the posts when only 25 metres out.
Welsh also lost a player through injury when Richard Thorpe left the field with a head injury, with Pienaar coming on in his place.
The disruptions and the poor standard of play resulted in a scoreless first quarter before the hosts infringed at a line-out in their own 22 but Hook was again off target with another straightforward kick.
Welsh then had their best period of pressure but it was their opponents who scored the first points with an excellent try. From a quick penalty in the 22, they swiftly moved the ball and following key contributions from Robson and May, Purdy was left with an easy run in.
Minutes later, Robson was instrumental in creating a second try for his side as he capitalised on Welsh surrendering possession to nip away and provide Sharples with the scoring pass.
Welsh responded with their first score when Pienaar finished off a driving line-out for their first try, which Barkley converted before kicking a penalty to leave Gloucester 12-10 in front at the interval.
Gloucester began the second half strongly and bursts by Ben Morgan and Robson ensured that they spent the first 10 minutes of it camped in home territory as Welsh struggled to keep their line intact.
An indifferent performance from Hook saw him replaced by Atkinson, with Twelvetrees moving to fly-half, and it was the latter who extended Gloucester's lead with a penalty.
Twelvetrees' next attempt hit a post but Gloucester continued to dominate, though elementary errors prevented them from being rewarded.
Welsh infringed at almost every scrum and eventually Vea was sent to the sin-bin, with Laidlaw kicking the resulting penalty.
The sin-binning was the catalyst for Gloucester to run riot as they scored four tries in quick succession.
May produced a sparkling run to create a try for Atkinson before Atkinson ran 25 metres for his second. Laidlaw's chip saw May win the race for the touchdown, with Laidlaw completing the points spree by converting all three and the last, which was a penalty try award after Dean Schofield became the second Welsh player to be yellow-carded.