LV= Cup: Ben Morgan the hat-trick hero as Gloucester beat London Welsh
Last Updated: 17/11/12 7:37pm
Ben Morgan was the hat-trick hero as Gloucester recorded an emphatic 46-20 win over London Welsh in the LV= Cup at Kingsholm.
Morgan and Freddie Burns, who were both released from the England squad for the game, were at the heart of the action. Number eight Morgan claimed his try haul and also impressed with driving runs, while Burns was creative and collected 14 points with the boot.
The hosts suffered a blow in the first minute when Rob Cook was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle, but they then had the first chance for points when Exiles number eight Adam Balding was penalised for a high tackle on Mike Tindall and Burns made no mistake with his kick.
After seven minutes Gloucester scored their first try, Billy Twelvetrees making a huge dent in the Welsh defence to send Steph Reynolds deep into the visitors' 22. The ball was quickly recycled for Shane Monahan to crash over.
Two penalties from Gordon Ross reduced the deficit to 10-6 at the end of the first quarter but soon afterwards a powerful line-out drive from the home pack resulted in a try for Morgan. Burns converted and added a penalty goal.
Gloucester declined three kickable penalties in favour of more attacking options and were rewarded with a close-range try from Akapusi Qera. That occurred immediately after Welsh lock Matt Corker was sin-binned by Tim Wigglesworth as the referee finally lost patience with the visitors' frequent attempts to kill the ball.
Welsh were further hit when centre Seb Jewell was helped off with a leg injury, and three minutes before the interval Gloucester scored an excellent team try through Morgan following a 70-metre move.
Trailing 34-6 after the opening half, the visitors improved after the break and their first try came via Nick Scott, Ross adding the extras.
Burns and Twelvetrees left the action and watched on as replacement Koree Britton scored the fifth Gloucester try before man of the match Morgan completed his treble five minutes from the end.
Welsh had the final say when a glaring error from Tindall gifted a try to replacement prop James Tideswell but it was too little, too late.