Rugby Union: De Beer adds to Gloucester woes

London Scottish 24 Gloucester 13
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IT DOES not come easy for Gloucester. Not only have they been having problems with their away form - last night's defeat at The Stoop was their sixth on the trot in the Allied Dunbar Premiership and their eighth straight loss - but they also have a slight difficulty with a home boy.

Rumours are that popular club captain Dave Sims was contemplating leaving Kings-holm because he cannot hold down a regular first-team place. Ironically his last start in the second row was against Scottish in October, since which time Mark Cornwell has kept him out.

Before last night's demise those rumours were quashed. Sims, 29, is set on winning a place in England's World Cup squad and said: "I have not put in for a transfer. I have not said anything to anybody.

"It is affecting my family life and I am very unhappy about that. It would definitely be a wrench to leave Gloucester, but I need to be playing first-team rugby."

Richard Hill, the club's director of rugby, also denied that Sims was on the transfer list. "I don't want to release Dave as he is part of our plans. It is just a matter of how he handles no longer being No 1. If he recaptures his form he will have a future in the squad.

"But everybody at the club has to give extra effort. The weak ones will drop off. I cannot afford to be sentimental because my primary concern is the success of the side. I hope Dave hangs in there with us."

Sims would have started last night's match had it not been for flu. He did not miss much. No matter how dangerous the Gloucester assaults were, Scottish were able to contain the threat.

Mark Mapletoft's sixth- minute try, which the Gloucester stand-off converted, was soon overtaken. His opposite number, Jannie de Beer, banged over a couple of penalties, landed a drop goal, as well as converting scrum-half Guy Easterby's opportunist try.

The Gloucester cause was not helped by a second-half refereeing blunder, Geoff Warren of Bristol missing a blatant knock-on. From that incident Scottish streamed upfield and prop Paul Johnstone popped up in the loose and tore off on a 30m sprint to the line.

London Scottish: Tries Easterby, Johnstone; Conversion De Beer; Penalties De Beer 3; Drop goal De Beer. Gloucester: Tries Mapletoft; Conversion Mapletoft; Penalties Mapletoft 2.

London Scottish: S Forrest; K Milligan, J Bonney, R Eriksson (R Davies, 73), C Sharman; J de Beer, G Easterby; P Johnstone, D Cummins (D Rudham, 41), P Burnell, G Manson-Bishop, M Watson, S Fenn (T Davies, 37), R Hunter, S Holmes (capt).

Gloucester: C Catling; B Johnson, T Fanolua, R Tombs, R Greenslade-Jones; M Mapletoft, S Benton (N Cane, 41); T Woodman, N McCarthy (C Fortey, 62), A Deacon (A Powles, 62), R Fidler (capt), R Ward, E Pearce (A Hazell, 73), S Ojomoh, N Carter.

Referee: G Warren (Bristol).