Friday 15 December 2017

Perpignan's domestic frailties rock build-up

Declan Rooney

With Munster coach Simon Mannix in attendance on a spying mission, Perpignan failed to add to Clermont's road-trip woes and fell to a rare defeat (30-22) at the Stade Aime Giral.

The concession of three tries on their home patch will have infuriated the USAP faithful, although they managed a losing bonus point thanks to a penalty try and a touchdown from young France full-back Sofiane Guitoune.

Perpignan have dropped to ninth in the Top 14 table, with six wins from their 13 games – they have lost three in a row since beating Bordeaux at the end of October.

Gloucester are also desperate for a win of any kind – Nigel Davies' side have not tasted victory in the Premiership or in Europe since their 27-22 success over Perpignan in Round 1 of the Heineken Cup.

A dismal run of five Premiership losses in a row was added to by defeat at Thomond Park, and a visit to Murrayfield (Sunday 1.0) is not likely to be a provide easy points either.

Edinburgh warmed up for the game with a 43-10 dismantling of Connacht last weekend. Their form has improved steadily since former Ulster coach Alan Solomons took the helm, and a win on Sunday will leave them in the top two.

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