Sinbad keeps Gloucester hot

By Paul Higham  

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James Simpson-Daniel scored a late solo try to give Guinness Premiership leaders Gloucester a 22-11 victory at London Irish.

Gloucester took control with tries from James Bailey and Rory Lawson during the opening 16 minutes at the Madejski Stadium.

Lawson, who was only playing as first-choice scrum-half Peter Richards is away on international duty with England, looked sharp during the opening stages, creating one try and scoring another.

After flanker Olivier Azam had stolen a line-out inside Exiles' territory, Lawson darted down the blindside before releasing Bailey for the opening try after just four minutes.

Willie Walker converted for a 7-0 lead, and the second try arrived in the 16th minute when Azam released Lawson for a run to the line from 20 metres out.

The hosts had struggled to gain any foothold in the game during the opening quarter, but improved as the half wore on and were rewarded when Barry Everitt got them on the board with a 28th minute penalty.

A home try followed five minutes later when Everitt's chip ahead was collected by Riki Flutey. Everitt stroked the conversion to reduce his side's deficit to 12-8 at the break.

But the Cherry and Whites came out for the second half determined to continue the expansive approach that has served them so well this season.

Both defences impressed as Walker and Everitt exchanged penalties to make the score 15-11 entering the final 10 minutes.

The Exiles appeared over-eager to force the play, and paid the price when Simpson-Daniel intercepted former England centre Mike Catt's pass and raced 70 metres for the match-clinching try in the 71st minute.

Walker added the conversion to extend the winning margin to 11 points and ensure Gloucester notched their fourth consecutive win.

There was more good news for the visitors as centre Mike Tindall came off the replacements bench late on for his first run out following a calf injury.

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