Gloucester survive Andy Hazell dismissal to claim Amlin Challenge Cup victory in France
Last Updated: 11/10/12 11:30pm
Gloucester opened their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a workmanlike 11-6 win over Mont de Marsan in a scrappy Pool 1 encounter at the Stade Guy Boniface.
Ian Clark ran in the only try of the game on the half-hour, while penalties from Tim Taylor and Billy Twelvetrees earned the visitors a hard-fought four points.
But Gloucester had Andy Hazell sent off midway through the second half after he aimed a flurry of punches and a knee to the head of the replacement home prop.
Matt Cox was sin-binned for his part in the same incident, but the hosts could not take full advantage of their extra two men and were restricted to a pair of penalties from Jean Baptiste Claverie.
Free-flowing rugby was at a premium in the early stages, although Charlie Sharples looked threatening on his return from four weeks out with a shoulder injury.
Gloucester finally broke the deadlock when a break from Dave Lewis was halted just short of the line, but the ball was quickly recycled and fed out to Clark to dive over in the corner.
Taylor missed the conversion from the touchline, but he made no mistake with his penalty on 52 minutes, although Claverie reduced the arrears moments later.
Twelvetrees split the uprights just after the hour, and the visitors dug in to keep the Top 14 strugglers at bay while down to 13 men.
Claverie again cut the deficit five minutes from time, but Gloucester's inexperienced line-up held on for a deserved win.