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Aviva Premiership: Gloucester battle back to beat Harlequins
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Gloucester boosted their hopes of a play-off berth with a 17-15 victory over Harlequins in a gripping contest at Kingsholm.
Quins led 12-3 at the break but were overhauled thanks to second-half tries from Jonny May and Akapuri Qera.
The champions are in danger of missing out on a home play-off semi-final after slipping to their third straight Aviva Premiership defeat.
A high-tempo contest showcased plenty of attacking flair from both sides, but it was brute strength which earned the visitors an early lead, as Danny Care took a quick tap after the award of a scrum free-kick and Rob Buchanan barged his way through three tackles to the line.
Nick Evans missed the conversion attempt and after a spell of Gloucester pressure, Freddie Burns cut the deficit with a penalty.
But on 23 minutes Quins were over again, this time after Evans spotted a gap behind the defensive line and chipped perfectly over the top for Sam Smith to collect the ball in full stride and race in under the posts. Evans knocked over the conversion.
Rob Cook should have scored in reply but he inexplicably dropped the ball and when Burns missed a kickable penalty on half-time, the writing looked on the wall for Gloucester.
They responded with a rousing second-half display, sparked by May's try at the corner after a pacy break from Charlie Sharples. Burns converted and the gap was just two points.
Evans stretched the lead again and Burns was once more wayward with a penalty, but Gloucester got their reward 10 minutes from time after a ferocious spell of pressure.
Four times Quins infringed in front of their posts and Joe Gray was rightly yellow-carded. Gloucester took a scrum and Qera dived over through a melee of players by the posts.
Burns' conversion put Gloucester ahead for the first time and they held out for the final 10 minutes much to the noisy delight of the Kingsholm crowd.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com