Aviva Premiership: Gloucester battle back to beat Harlequins
Last Updated: 29/03/13 10:31pm
Jonny May: Dives in to score for Gloucester
Gloucester boosted their hopes of a play-off berth with a 17-15 victory over Harlequins in a gripping contest at Kingsholm.
Quins led 12-3 at the break but were overhauled thanks to second-half tries from Jonny May and Akapuri Qera.
The champions are in danger of missing out on a home play-off semi-final after slipping to their third straight Aviva Premiership defeat.
A high-tempo contest showcased plenty of attacking flair from both sides, but it was brute strength which earned the visitors an early lead, as Danny Care took a quick tap after the award of a scrum free-kick and Rob Buchanan barged his way through three tackles to the line.
Nick Evans missed the conversion attempt and after a spell of Gloucester pressure, Freddie Burns cut the deficit with a penalty.
But on 23 minutes Quins were over again, this time after Evans spotted a gap behind the defensive line and chipped perfectly over the top for Sam Smith to collect the ball in full stride and race in under the posts. Evans knocked over the conversion.
Rob Cook should have scored in reply but he inexplicably dropped the ball and when Burns missed a kickable penalty on half-time, the writing looked on the wall for Gloucester.
They responded with a rousing second-half display, sparked by May's try at the corner after a pacy break from Charlie Sharples. Burns converted and the gap was just two points.
Evans stretched the lead again and Burns was once more wayward with a penalty, but Gloucester got their reward 10 minutes from time after a ferocious spell of pressure.
Four times Quins infringed in front of their posts and Joe Gray was rightly yellow-carded. Gloucester took a scrum and Qera dived over through a melee of players by the posts.
Burns' conversion put Gloucester ahead for the first time and they held out for the final 10 minutes much to the noisy delight of the Kingsholm crowd.
Fri 24th Apr
Bath43 - 18London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks23 - 25Harlequins
Gloucester42 - 40Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers38 - 17London Welsh
Northampton25 - 20Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps36 - 29Exeter
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
Aviva Premiership 2012/13 Round 19
Sale boss Steve Diamond was thrilled after the Sharks secured three crucial points in the 33-33 draw at London Irish.
Worcester coach Richard Hill says the sin-binning of Josh Matavesi was the turning point in their 24-18 loss to Exeter.
Richard Cockerill says he has never seen Manu Tuilagi play better than his performance in the 36-8 rout of Northampton.
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