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
  • Get to the point
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

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders