Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Trevor Woodman fancied Gloucester fightback despite 20-point half-time deficit

Gloucester forwards coach Trevor Woodman had faith in his team when they trailed their Anglo-Welsh Cup tie against Saracens by 20 points - and it was justified.

The Cherry and Whites' forwards coach believed his side could still win at half-time, when they trailed 25-5.

Remarkably his belief was rewarded as Gloucester staged a thrilling comeback to defeat the holders 36-32 - with wing David Halaifonua scoring his second try 30 seconds from the end to seal a home success.

Joe Mullis, Henry Purdy and Dan Thomas also crossed to add to a penalty try award, with Lloyd Evans kicking three conversions.

Woodman said: "We've lost games this season when we've been 31-7 up, so anything is possible.

"In the first half, we made too many mistakes and they deserved their half-time lead.

"We made a couple of changes at half-time and the kids showed tremendous energy and commitment - and it was great to nick it at the end."

Gloucester centre Purdy supported his coach's view, adding: "It was an unreal game. Saracens were really organised in the first half and we gave them too much respect.

"It was a massive performance from the boys to turn it round and to win at the end was a great feeling."

Saracens still went away with two bonus points with Tom Whiteley scoring two tries for them, Tom Griffiths and Ben Spencer one each and Spencer converting one and kicking two penalties.

Whiteley added two conversions for the visitors, whose assistant coach Ian Vaas said: "A few lessons have been learnt for our youngsters but all credit to Gloucester, who wrestled momentum from us in the second half - and we couldn't get it back.

"We want to win every game but this competition is all about giving people an opportunity.

"It's difficult with all our international call-ups and we had a very inexperienced side out today but we still picked up two bonus points away from home, so we are still very much in the competition."


From Belfast Telegraph