Sunday 4 December 2016

Gloucester miss out on Europe in painful finale

Published 01/06/2015 | 02:30

Gloucester saw their hopes of European Champions Cup qualification ended in dramatic fashion at Sixways as they suffered a crushing last-gasp defeat.

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Bordeaux-Begles fly-half Pierre Bernard dropped a goal with the game's final kick to secure a 23-22 victory for the Top 14 club. It means there will be seven French clubs in the Champions Cup next term, compared with six from the Aviva Premiership.

Gloucester looked to have done enough after Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw kicked 17 points, including a conversion of wing Henry Purdy's early try.

Purdy's touchdown and 14 points from Laidlaw's boot opened up a 16-point gap, yet a touchdown in each half by Bordeaux wing Metuisela Talebula, plus two penalties and two conversions by Bernard had Gloucester sweating.

And they left the field utterly distraught after seeing their Champions Cup dream snatched away in such cruel fashion.

Elsewhere, Owen Farrell has escaped a citing for his high tackle on England colleague Anthony Watson during Saturday's Aviva Premiership final.

The Saracens fly-half flattened Bath full-back Watson in the second minute of his team's 28-16 victory at Twickenham but referee Wayne Barnes opted against issuing a card. Bath coach Mike Ford insisted Farrell should have been sent off.

Meanwhile, Clive Woodward has missed out on becoming France's next head coach after Guy Noves was appointed as successor to Philippe Saint-Andre.

Long-serving Toulouse coach Noves will replace the underperforming Saint-Andre following this autumn's World Cup.

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