Gloucester Rugby continued their best run of form in the Aviva Premiership since the season of 2010/11 on Saturday.
A 39-15 scoreboard against London Irish in Gloucester’s favour showed off some impressive solo performances.
Here are five key things we can take away from their latest venture.
- It’s easier to play against Gloucester with 15 men. London Irish hooker David Paice left his side a man down with half the game to go, against an already storming Cherry and Whites. Courtesy of an off-the-ball smash on scrum-half Willi Heinz, Paice was sent from the field with a red card on the brink of half-time.
- It’s a forwards game in those conditions. With miserable weather, a slippy surface and the likelihood of handling errors, the big bad forwards are called upon to grind away a victory. Gloucester’s front five or indeed full eight, arguably did a better job of it and were able to control a struggling Irish pack.
- Gloucester can show off when it gets wet. Tries from Jake Poledri and Billy Burns, though they both showed scintillating speed, were results of simple dexterity but ultimately control. A small tip-on and then long overhead pass from Billy Twelvetrees, demonstrated the necessity for good hands no matter the weather.
- Audacity, showmanship and confidence reigns. When the going is tough but your up by 15 or more, Gloucester’s play was visibly more exciting yet risky too. It was the Henry Purdy try that would’ve seemed the most impressive of the day. A cross-field kick from Billy Burns was collected with ease by Purdy, however, it wasn’t the only time boot was put to ball. Just two phases earlier, replacement scrum-half Ben Vellacott chipped ahead in the unpredictable conditions. Finally though, it was Billy Burns’ last act of the match that was perhaps the most unusual. Just 10 meters out, Burns chose to chance a grubber kick for Purdy again. No success that time around though.
- Gloucester have now extended their best run in the Premiership since the 2010/11 season. That campaign, under Bryan Redpath, saw the Cherry and Whites’ finished third and obtained five Premiership victories in a row. However, now under Yohan Ackerman, the men from Kingsholm have already surpassed that record before Christmas. So just how many more could they have?