Rugby Union

Gloucester thrash London Welsh to earn first away win

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A devastating last 15 minute spell in which Gloucester scored 31 points gave them a comprehensive victory over London Welsh at the Kassam Stadium on Friday night.

The Cherry and Whites ran in six tries in total, with Mark Atkinson (two), Charlie Sharples, Henry Purdy and Jonny May all crossing over as well as a penalty try after the Exiles prop Taione Vea had been sin-binned.

The win for the visitors was their first away from home in the new campaign to date and temporarily moved them up to fifth in the Aviva Premiership.

The defeat was London Welsh's fourth of the season as despite a heavy recruitment drive over the summer, they continue to find life in England's top tier difficult.

Poor officiating

Exiles head coach Justin Burnell was heavily critical of the officials after the game and felt they were on the wrong end of some poor decisions.

"At 12-10 at half-time we were more than in the game but crucially decisions went against us," he said.

"The penalty count was 20-7 against us and I can't explain why. It seems that we are doing certain things and are penalised and the opposition are doing the same but they are not.

"It's easy to look at the scoreboard and we will have to learn to play for 80 minutes not 60, but it seemed the game changed on its head almost on a flip of a coin."

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In fact, the hosts started the better of the two teams, showing commitment and dedication in their tackles from the off.

But it was Gloucester who notched the first try of the game as Purdy touched down before Sharples followed suit shortly after.

Close early

Ben Pienaar responded for Welsh to ensure they got to within two at the break, still on the wrong side of a 12-10 scoreline.

Unfortunately for the home side, their continuing struggles in defence came to the fore as Gloucester dominated the late stages to seal their second win of the campaign.

Director of rugby David Humphreys said: ""For the first 60 minutes, we were disappointing and were showing no improvement.

"I'm delighted with the five points and that little bit of magic from Jonny May provided the spark to cause them problems.

Let's be judged after the first six games but we have an awful long way to go as we've got to be a lot better than we were tonight if we are going to trouble the best."

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