Monday 19 March 2018

Gloucester under pressure after two defeats

John Fallon

Gloucester will be hoping to arrest an alarming start to the season which sees them rooted to the bottom of the English Premiership after two opening defeats.

Gloucester were caught at home by Sale Sharks – they themselves were beaten at home by Newcastle Falcons in the second round – on the opening day, but there was no doubt about the outcome last weekend where they were hammered 44-12 by Saracens.

Gloucester, whom Munster will host in the second round of the Heineken Cup on October 19, will not find it any easier this week when they host a Northampton Saints side who have won both their opening games.

Edinburgh, Munster's first round opponents, have out-half problems with No 10 Gregor Hunter being ruled out for the season with a serious knee injury.

Piers Francis, the English-born out-half who went to New Zealand at 18 to further his career, is also out until next month, but Harry Leonard made the most of his chance at the weekend when he kicked a last-minute penalty to snatch a 16-13 win over the Dragons at Murrayfield to give them their first victory.

Edinburgh travel to play Ospreys this weekend hoping for their first win at the Liberty Stadium since April 2009.

In France, Perpignan made it three wins from six – although they have played four home games – when they brought Montpellier's three-match winning run to an end at Stade Aime Giral.

They will have played 13 rounds of the Top 14 by the time they face Munster in the back-to-back pool games in December.

The French club travel to play Brive tomorrow looking for their first away win of the season.

Irish Independent

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