Gloucester 27-21 Wasps: Cherry and Whites staged a stunning second-half comeback from 21-0 down to secure biggest comeback win in Premiership history
- George Skivington’s side had a sensational first half in the first half against Wasps
- They couldn’t get out of the traps and looked defeated as they went down 21-0
- Gloucester improved significantly in the second period to take a great win
- The home side even went home with a bonus point as the Wasps were shocked
A trademark Rees Lightning sparked Gloucester back to life as the Cherry and Whites scored 27 unanswered second-half points to secure the biggest comeback win in their Premiership history.
This was a strong Gloucester side but George Skivington’s men simply didn’t fire a shot in the first half as they trailed 21-0 at the break.
Their failure to spring from the traps looked like it would be costly.
Louis Rees-Zamitt inspired a second-half comeback as Gloucester came back from 21-0 down to win
The Wasps looked to be well on their way to victory after an impressive first period
Gloucester scored four second-half tries to give fans something to cheer about in the opening game of the season
But in an archetypal game of two halves, Louis Rees-Zammit started the revival at home and Wasps – after a fine opening 40 – did not score in the second period.
Tries: Rees-Zamit 42, Chapman 45, Penalty 67, Clarke 73
Against: Hastings 46
Pen: 59 Hastings
Tries: Atkinson 19, Shields 25, Odendaal 29
Disadvantages: Atkinson 20, 26, 30
Gloucester: Evans? Rees-Zammit, Harris, Atkinson (Twelvetrees 63), Thorley; Hastings, Chapman (Meehan 59); Elrington (Rappava-Raskin 59), Singleton (Socchino 59), Balmain (Ford-Robinson 62), Clarke, Craig (Jordan 66), Ackerman (captain), Taylor, Morgan (Towizoo 31)
Spare not used: Moyle
Wasps: Minozzi (Crossdale 8); Kibirige (Ryan 70-78), Spink, Odendaal (Mills 69), Bassett; Atkinson, Robson (Porter 55); Hislop (Millar-Mills 62), Cruse (Frost 49), Ryan (Alo 59), Launchbury (capt), McDonald (Morris 73), T Willis, Shields (J Willis 39), Barbeary
Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe
And after two yellow cards for the visitors late on, Gloucester went home with a bonus-point win as the Wasps were left shell-shocked.
Gloucester narrowly missed out on the play-offs last season and with a solid squad, further improvement was expected this season.
Their start to the new campaign, however, has been abysmal.
Skivington’s men, to put it bluntly, offered absolutely nothing. Trailing by 21 points at the break, it was statistically their worst first half in Premiership rugby at Kingsholm.
The home faithful were not at all happy with their team and rightly so. The opening 10 minutes were poor from both teams, low quality and notable only for another serious injury to hapless Wasps full-back Matteo Minozzi.
The Italian has previously suffered ACL and this looked like a similar injury. Minozzi left the field in tears.
Wasps were still the better side as they dominated the area. Alfie Barbeary was rightly sent off for a block on Kiran McDonald, but Wasps were soon in front with Gloucester still in the dressing room. Charlie Atkinson scored between the posts and converted his own try.
The fly-half missed a simple penalty which summed up the poor quality of the match, but he responded impressively by sending Wasps hurler John Ryan flying through a gap.
Atkinson and Berger Odendaal assisted, allowing Brad Shields to score. The frustration among Gloucester fans was palpable and they expressed their disappointment.
It soon got worse for the home fans, the fearsome and impressive Odendaal brought straight to the line from a scrum after a static Gloucester defence.
Even the speedy Rees-Zammit couldn’t lay a hand on Odendaal.
When Gloucester got into a scoring position before the break, they first spilled the ball and then allowed Wasps to win a penalty and clear.
Gloucester’s Cameron Jordan is held up by Wasps’ player Joe Launchbury during a fiery game
Soon after, Jack Singleton overturned a line-out in a prime attacking position.
Gloucester needed a miracle and Welsh winger Rees-Zammit did just that at the start of the second half. A fourth Wasps try looked on the cards as they hammered home.
But when they turned the ball over, it fell loose in Gloucester’s hands and the ball was quickly moved to Rees-Zamit out. His electric pace took him nearly the length of the field.
Suddenly, the momentum of the game had completely swung. Now it was Gloucester firing on all cylinders, Charlie Chapman grabbing their second after Harry Elrington had cleared.
Charlie Chapman gets down to score his side’s second try as the momentum continued to build
Gloucester’s Freddie Clarke scored his side’s fourth try to seal victory on Sunday
Adam Hastings converted the second of two tries and kicked a penalty as the game went into the final quarter with the away side now at a precarious six points.
Gloucester’s remarkable comeback was soon complete. Their forwards went to work and Wasps flanker Tom Willis cynically tried to halt the home side’s momentum.
He had a yellow card.
Poor discipline from the Wasps continued to leave referee Anthony Woodthorpe no choice but to award a penalty. Woodthorpe also showed yellow to substitute Wasps prop Biyo Alo to send them down to 13 men. It allowed Freddie Clarke to score a crucial fourth try at Gloucester.
The score was confirmation that the tables had officially turned as a final attack from Wasps was held up by Gloucester’s strong defence.