Tuesday 12 December 2017

Gloucester coming into form after excellent Europe display

David Humphreys' men are ninth in the 12-team Premiership with six wins and seven defeats from 13 games so far (Sportsfile)
David Humphreys' men are ninth in the 12-team Premiership with six wins and seven defeats from 13 games so far (Sportsfile)

John Fallon

Gloucester will play five matches in the Aviva Premiership before they play Connacht in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup on the first weekend of April.

David Humphreys' men are ninth in the 12-team Premiership with six wins and seven defeats from 13 games so far.

But their form in Europe has been superb and they are the only team in either the Champions Cup or Challenge Cup to win all six pool matches.

They defeated French sides Oyonnax and Brive, and Italians Zebre, home and away to top the pool with 29 points out of a possible 30.

Their dominance in the pool is illustrated by a scoring difference of 147-29, with second-placed Oyonnax finishing 13 points behind them despite beating the other two teams home and away.

Gloucester will host Harlequins in the LV= Cup this weekend before resuming their Premiership campaign when they take on Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.

Gloucester will go into that game with two successive Premiership wins under their belt, having previously won just two from six in the competition.

But a 24-23 home win over Saracens and an equally tight 26-25 victory away to Exeter Chiefs will give them a lot of hope as they head into the business end of the Premiership, just seven points behind fourth-placed Wasps.

They travel to play Wasps on February 28 but before that they will host bottom club London Welsh where they will be expected, like every other team in the competition, to collect five points against the weakest team to ever feature in the Premiership.

Gloucester will play their final home game before playing Connacht when they meet Northampton Saints on March 7.

The break for the internationals means they don't feature in the Premiership again until March 29 when they play away to Sale Sharks.

A week later they will host Connacht to see which side goes through to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup.

Irish Independent

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