Quins denied at death
Late try seals win for Gloucester
Last Updated: 29/10/10 3:27pm
Brett Deacon's dramatic late try gave Gloucester their third straight Aviva Premiership win with a 33-26 victory over Harlequins on Saturday.
Deacon crossed with just three minutes to go at Kingsholm to deny Harlequins and rescue his side after they had been forced to play half of the second period with 14 men.
After trailing 23-13 at half time, Quins fought back to tie the scores in the closing stages thanks largely to an inspired performance from fly-half Nick Evans.
Evans scored 21 of the visitors' points, including a try, four penalties and two conversions, forcing Gloucester to dig deep during the final stages to secure the win.
Fly-half Nicky Robinson opened Gloucester's account fifth minute penalty but England scrum-half Danny Care responded almost immediately with an opportunist try to give Quins the lead.
Care caught the home defence cold, latching onto a loose ball 10 metres inside his own half and sprinting clear as several Gloucester players stopped in anticipation of referee Tim Wigglesworth's whistle.
Evans added the extras to take the score to 3-7 but the lead would not last long and Gloucester's answer came just six minutes later, when Care's opposite number Dave Lewis crossed following some intense pressure from his pack.
Charlie Sharples went close twice only to be denied by last ditch tackles inside the Quins 22 before he finally found his way over after collecting on the overlap.
Evans reduced the deficit with a penalty on the stroke of half-time but the visitors were clearly struggling to cope with their opponents in all departments.
Robinson struck his fourth successful penalty soon after the restart to restore Gloucester's 13-point lead and the home side looked assured a bonus point victory.
But a scuffle between props Paul Doran-Jones and opposite number Joe Marler saw Doran Jones dispatched to the sin-bin.
Despite the numerical disadvantage Gloucester continued to test an overworked Quins defence, before Evans made the numbers count and sprinted in from 25 metres.
The fly-half converted his own try to close the gap to six points and put the home team under pressure.
Gloucester's problems intensified when, just as Doran-Jones prepared to return, fellow prop Nick Wood was yellow-carded for tipping Nick Easter out of a lineout.
Evans made it 26-23 with the resulting penalty then hauled Quins level with his fourth penalty to set up a thrilling finale
Gloucester increasing looked to reassert themselves as the clock ticked down and they finally came up trumps when their forwards rumbled over from close range for Deacon to touchdown.
Fri 24th Apr
Bath43 - 18London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks23 - 25Harlequins
Gloucester42 - 40Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers38 - 17London Welsh
Northampton25 - 20Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps0 - 0Exeter
Fri 8th May
Harlequins0 - 0Bath
Sat 9th May
Sale Sharks0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester0 - 0London Irish
Northampton0 - 0London Welsh
Wasps0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 10th May
Saracens0 - 0Exeter
Sat 16th May
Bath0 - 0Gloucester
Exeter0 - 0Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers0 - 0Northampton
London Irish0 - 0Wasps
London Welsh0 - 0Saracens
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Harlequins