Aviva Premiership: Gloucester record 21-9 win over London Irish
Last Updated: 03/12/14 4:34pm
Second-half tries from Henry Purdy and Steve McColl helped Gloucester to a 21-9 victory over struggling London Irish at the Madejski Stadium.
Purdy lit up a drab encounter on 49 minutes when he raced down the left wing to score, and full-back McColl’s late effort ended a run of three successive Aviva Premiership defeats for the Cherry and Whites.
Three second-half penalties from Shane Geraghty were all London Irish had to show for their efforts as they squandered a host of scoring opportunities because of a malfunctioning lineout.
Both sides entered the game in poor form and it led to a dour first half in Reading, which was littered with scrum resets and handling errors.
Chasing their first Premiership home win of the season, Irish were presented with an early chance to open the scoring but Shane Geraghty opted to kick to touch, and it proved the wrong call as the lineout went awry.
Richard Hibbard was held up after Gloucester mauled their way over the Irish line on 24 minutes, but they did break the deadlock with five first-half minutes remaining through a Greig Laidlaw penalty.
Gloucester skipper Laidlaw saw a penalty come back off the post minutes after the restart but the visitors regained possession, and when Tom Court was caught offside it allowed Laidlaw to double his side’s lead.
The game’s first moment of real quality resulted in the opening try. Mark Atkinson and McColl combined to release wing Purdy, who sprinted clear to score in the corner.
Geraghty replied with three penalties in a 10-minute spell, sandwiching a Laidlaw effort, but the Irish captain was extremely fortunate when his kick was charged down by Tom Savage and the ball bounced into touch just before the lock could touch down.
Ofisa Treviranus lifted the home side with some big carries as Irish pushed for a try, and they twice kicked to the corner as Gloucester began to lose their discipline.
However, their set piece continued to falter, which allowed Gloucester to clear their lines, and they secured victory when McColl raced onto James Hook’s deft kick behind the irish defence with seven minutes remaining.
Tom Palmer was sin-binned late on for a late hit on Geraghty but Gloucester held on to deny the hosts a losing bonus point.