Rugby

Gloucester 27-21 Wasps: Cherry and Whites produce record breaking comeback

Gloucester 27-21 Wasps: Cherry and Whites produce stunning second-half comeback from 21-0 down to secure the biggest comeback win in their Premiership history

  • George Skivington’s side had a shocking first-half in their opener with Wasps 
  • They failed to get out of the traps and looked defeated as they were 21-0 down
  • Gloucester improved significantly in the second period to take a great victory
  • The hosts even went home with a bonus point as Wasps were shellshocked  

A trademark bolt of Rees Lightning sparked Gloucester back to life as the Cherry and Whites scored 27 unanswered second-half points to secure the biggest comeback win in their Premiership history.

This was a strong Gloucester side, but George Skivington’s men simply didn’t fire a shot in the first half as they went to the break 21-0 down.

Their failure to spring out of the traps looked like it would be costly.

Louis Rees-Zamitt inspired a second-half comeback as Gloucester recovered from 21-0 down to take the win

Louis Rees-Zamitt inspired a second-half comeback as Gloucester recovered from 21-0 down to take the win

Wasps looked like they were well on course to take victory after an impressive first-period

Wasps looked like they were well on course to take victory after an impressive first-period

Gloucester scored four second-half tries though to give supporters something to cheer about in the opening game of the season

Gloucester scored four second-half tries though to give supporters something to cheer about in the opening game of the season

But in an archetypal game of two halves, Louis Rees-Zammit started the home revival and Wasps – after a fine opening 40 – didn’t score in the second period.

MATCH FACTS

Scorers

Gloucester

Tries: Rees-Zammit 42, Chapman 45, Penalty 67, Clarke 73

Con: Hastings 46

Pen: Hastings 59

Wasps

Tries: Atkinson 19, Shields 25, Odendaal 29

Cons: Atkinson 20, 26, 30

Gloucester: Evans; Rees-Zammit, Harris, Atkinson (Twelvetrees 63), Thorley; Hastings, Chapman (Meehan 59); Elrington (Rapava-Ruskin 59), Singleton (Socino 59), Balmain (Ford-Robinson 62), Clarke, Craig (Jordan 66), Ackermann (capt), Taylor, Morgan (Tuisue 31)

Replacement not used: Moyle

Wasps: Minozzi (Crossdale 8); Kibirige (Ryan 70-78), Spink, Odendaal (Mills 69), Bassett; Atkinson, Robson (Porter 55); Hislop (Millar-Mills 62), Cruse (Frost 49), Ryan (Alo 59), Launchbury (capt), McDonald (Morris 73), T Willis, Shields (J Willis 39), Barbeary

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe

Attendance: 11,124

And after two yellow cards for the visitors late on, Gloucester even went home with a bonus-point win as Wasps were left shellshocked.

Gloucester narrowly missed out on last season’s play-offs and with a settled squad, further improvement was expected this term.

Their start to the new campaign, however, was abysmal.

Skivington’s men, to put it bluntly, offered absolutely nothing. At 21 points behind at the break, it was statistically their worst first half of Premiership rugby at Kingsholm.

The home faithful were far from happy with their team and rightly so. The opening 10 minutes was poor from both teams, low on quality, and noteworthy only for what looked like another serious injury for luckless Wasps full-back Matteo Minozzi.

The Italian has suffered anterior cruciate knee ligament misery in the past and this looked a similar injury. Minozzi left the field in tears.

Wasps were still the better side as they dominated territory. Alfie Barbeary had a try rightly ruled out for blocking by Kiran McDonald, but Wasps were soon ahead with Gloucester still in the changing rooms. Charlie Atkinson scored between the posts and converted his own try.

The fly-half did miss a simple penalty which summed up the poor quality of the encounter, but he responded impressively by sending Wasps tighthead John Ryan flying through a gap.

Atkinson and Burger Odendaal were in support allowing Brad Shields to score. The frustration among the Gloucester fans was obvious and they vented their frustration.

It soon got worse for the home supporters, the fearsome and impressive Odendaal carrying straight to the line from a scrum past a static Gloucester defence.

Even the rapid Rees-Zammit couldn’t lay a hand on Odendaal.

When Gloucester did get into a position to score before the break, they first spilled the ball and then allowed Wasps to win a scrum penalty and clear.

Gloucester's Cameron Jordan is held by Wasps player Joe Launchbury during a fiery game

Gloucester’s Cameron Jordan is held by Wasps player Joe Launchbury during a fiery game

Soon after, Jack Singleton overthrew a line-out in a prime attacking position.

Gloucester needed a miracle and Wales wing Rees-Zammit provided one at the start of the second half. A fourth Wasps try looked on the cards as they pounded away at the home line.

But when they turned the ball over, it fell loose to Gloucester hands and the ball was shifted quickly to Rees-Zammit out wide. His electric pace took him virtually the length of the field.

All of a sudden, the game’s momentum had swung completely. Now it was Gloucester firing on all cylinders, Charlie Chapman grabbing their second after Harry Elrington breezed clear.

Charlie Chapman goes down to score his side's second try as momentum continued to build

Charlie Chapman goes down to score his side’s second try as momentum continued to build

Gloucester's Freddie Clarke scored his side's fourth try to help seal victory on Sunday

Gloucester’s Freddie Clarke scored his side’s fourth try to help seal victory on Sunday

Adam Hastings converted the second of the two tries and kicked a penalty as the game went into the final quarter with the away lead now at a precarious six points.

Gloucester’s remarkable comeback was soon complete. Their forwards got to work and Wasps flanker Tom Willis cynically tried to stop the home momentum.

He was yellow carded.

The poor discipline from Wasps continued leaving referee Anthony Woodthorpe no option but to award a penalty try. Woodthorpe also showed yellow to replacement Wasps prop Biyo Alo to send them down to 13 men. It allowed Freddie Clarke to grab a crucial fourth Gloucester try.

The score was confirmation the tables had officially been turned as a final attack by Wasps was withheld by strong Gloucester defence.


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