Inspirational Little lifts Gloucesterto priceless away victory

Llanelli 20

Llanelli 20

Gloucester 27

7 October 2000

JASON LITTLE took another significant step towards justifying his six-figure salary as Gloucester made a winning Heineken Cup debut at Stradey Park last night.

The double Australian World Cup winner scored Gloucester's opening try - a defence-splitting 25-metre break - after switching from centre to stand-off when Simon Mannix suffered a suspected fractured wrist. And it proved significant towards securing a priceless away win, confirmed when Andy Hazell galloped over 15 minutes from time.

Mannix's departure, with barely half an hour gone, looked a severe blow to Gloucester. The New Zealander had landed three long-range penalties for a 9-0 lead inside 25 minutes, but his exit meant the England international Andy Gomarsall took over kicking duties, and he missed four successive shots at goal before converting Hazell's touchdown.

The Samoan Terry Fanolua then kicked a 70th-minute penalty, and added an injury-time goal and Gloucester were home and dry at the expense of last season's semi-finalists.

Llanelli's Wales lock Chris Wyatt crashed over deep into stoppage time, but Gloucester had already done enough. Llanelli had their moments, highlighted when wing Mark Jones finished off a well-worked move during first-half injury-time, but they conceded 10 points without reply after the break. With three home games to come, Gloucester are now well-placed for quarter-final berth.

Little, who scored two tries on his debut against Bristol last weekend, effortlessly filled the void created by Mannix, and with Gloucester's forwards relishing the physical exchanges, Llanelli often found themselves nullified at source.

Mannix landed his first penalty from 45 metres after just eight minutes, then found the target from similar range to double Gloucester's advantage. By contrast, Llanelli's Wales stand-off Stephen Jones struggled to find the target, and finished with an average return of four kicks from seven attempts.

Although Jones kicked two penalties to reduce Llanelli's early arrears, Little wrong-footed the home defence, combining pace with power to smash his way over.

Llanelli's most creative moment of the match produced the try, half-backs Guy Easterby and Jones combining to send Mark Jones through.

Trailing by a point at the break, Llanelli needed to take control, but Gloucester were able to dominate by combining solid defence with committed set-piece work. Hazell had only been on the pitch for eight minutes when he pounced for a vital try, rounding off impressive approach work by the outstanding Gloucester centre Chris Yates, whose aggressive midfield running stretched Llanelli.

That score gave Gloucester breathing space, and whatever Llanelli produced after that, it was always going to be too little too late.

Llanelli - Tries M Jones, Wyatt; Conversions S Jones 2; Penalties S Jones 2. Gloucester - Tries: Little, Hazell; Conversions Gomarsall; Penalties Fanolua 2, Mannix 3.

Llanelli: M Cardey; M Jones, D James, S Finau, G Evans; S Jones, G Easterby (R Moon, 75); P Booth, R McBryde (M Thomas, 75), J Davies, C Wyatt, C Gillies, D Rees-Jones, I Boobyer, S Quinnell (capt).

Gloucester: C Catling; T Fanolua, J Little, C Yates, T Beim; S Mannix (F Schisano, 29), A Gomarsall (E Moncrieff, 72); S Simon, 0 Azam, P Vickery, A Eustace (R Fidler, 72), I Jones, S Ojomoh (A Hazell, 56), K Jones, capt, J Boer, 80), J Paramore.

Referee: G Morandin (Italy).

* Edinburgh Reivers got their European Cup campaign off to a strong start at Myreside as they outgunned Leinster 29-21 With the powerful Irish province threatening the line, centre Kevin Utterson dived over for the late try which sealed the victory.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn