Gloucester show improved spirit to defeat Wasps
April 22, 2000
Gloucester, who had slipped from top to fourth after a series of disappointing displays, showed improved spirit in overcoming much-fancied Wasps to move back to third place in the table.
They owed their success to a change in attitude which saw them show greater pace and determination, especially from the pack.
Wasps struck early with sustained forward play leading to a fourth-minute try by hooker Trevor Leota.
The all-action hooker was in the thick of the early play and was driven over to score in a forward surge. Alex King converted.
On a quagmire pitch made worse by playing junior finals before the kick off, back play was reduced to a minimum.
This suited Gloucester's pack, who got back into the game with driving forward play which brought them a try for centre Joe Ewens and two penalties and a conversion by Simon Mannix.
After their early lapse Gloucester rarely allowed Wasps a real chance to score again.
Some slick passing among the backs brought Gloucester another try two minutes into the second half when Brian Johnson finished off the move and Mannix converted.
Both sides lost players to the sin-bin when Trevor Woodman and Mark Weedon had swapped punches in the 45th minute.
Kingsley-Jones, Gloucester, and Lawrence Dallaglio, the two captains, might have followed them moments later after another scrap but the referee simply gave a penalty against Wasps.
More Gloucester forward pressure brought them a penalty under the posts which Mannix converted.
This was old-fashioned Gloucester at their best. Their pack revelled in the glue-pot conditions, often driving Wasps back.
None did better than Ian Jones, who took several line-out balls from Wasps throws.
At centre Chris Yates was a constant threat for Gloucester and his frequent midfield surges usually spelled danger.
Few Wasps players enjoyed this poor display but none more than Kenny Logan, the Scottish winger who was unable to do anything with the ball however it came to him.
However Wasps did get consolation in the 71st minute when former Gloucester favourite Phil Greening, who had gone on as a 57th minute replacement, went through for a try to end a sustained period of Wasps pressure. King however fluffed the conversion.