Match Report – Gloucester 15 – 28 Harlequins

Gloucester welcomed back spectators to Kingsholm – but the homecoming fell horribly flat as Harlequins recorded a 28-15 Gallagher Premiership victory.

The mid-table clash saw 1,000 people attend – including British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland – in a second crowd pilot venture following Quins’ game against Bath at the Twickenham Stoop earlier this month.

But Gloucester suffered an acute case of stage-fright, with fly-half Danny Cipriani gifting Quins their opening try, blowing a score for Jonny May with a forward pass, then throwing an interception pass that led to Quins’ match-clinching third try.

In contrast, 21-year-old England hopeful Marcus Smith ran things impressively for a Quins side that never looked back following first-half tries by wing Cadan Murley and skipper Stephan Lewies as they consolidated sixth place.

Smith added 11 points from the boot, while Gloucester could only manage a Cipriani penalty during a forgettable first half for the hosts.

No 8 Jake Polledri’s early second-half try, converted by Cipriani, hinted at a revival, but Quins were having none of it as Scott Steele touched down and Smith converted.

Substitute lock Mattias Alemanno then powered over for a second Gloucester touchdown, yet there was no way back as the Kingsholm faithful witnessed a frustrating display.

“I am bit confused. Flat is probably the word,” Gloucester head coach George Skivington said.

“We were excited coming into the game, and we put ourselves in positions to score about five tries, but we just dropped a few balls at the final hurdle. It was a lack of execution.

“Quins were very clinical in their approach and rightly won the game.

“If a crowd of 1,000 can make that noise, it will be great to see the place full. I am disappointed that we couldn’t deliver a victory for them.

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