Bachop's fun is short-lived

Leeds 17 Gloucester 50
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The Independent Online

Leeds' season of promise ended in dismal defeat after leading by 10 points as Gloucester warmed up for the play-offs with a seven-try romp at Headingley.Ironiclly, it was a Yorkshireman, Gloucester's winger James Simpson-Daniel, who completed the rout with a late double.

With the threat of relegation lifted by the Twickenham mandarins in midweek, Leeds were more relaxed than they might have been and their former All Black fly-half Stephen Bachop took the chance to display his skills on what is likely to be the final match of his career.

The winger Chris Hall scored the first try on 14 minutes, taking Dan Scarbrough's popped pass before stepping inside Henry Paul's weak tackle.

Paul suffered the further embarrassment of being struck on the head by a Ludovic Mercier pass as Gloucester looked to counter after Braam van Straaten had increased Leeds' advantage with a penalty after converting Hall's earlier effort. Paul redeemed himself by sidestepping into open space, then back-flipping a pass to James Forrester, who strolled over.

Leeds' promising start began to evaporate when in first-half stoppage time another former rugby league man, Junior Paramore, barged his way over from 10 metres after taking Mercier's short pass.

Paul was again involved as Gloucester quickly shifted the ball right after Simpson-Daniel had been collared close to the line, and with the Leeds defence again exposed, prop Trevor Woodman blasted over.

Simpson-Daniel collected the 11th touchdown of his brief campaign by outpacing the Leeds defence to romp in from 70 metres. His 12th came just five minutes later, Terry Fanolua the provider this time.

Leeds: Tries Hall, Scarbrough. Conversions van Straaten, Benson. Penalties van Straaten. Gloucester: Tries Forrester, Paramore, Woodman, Simpson-Daniel 2, O'Leary, Sewabu. Conversions Mercier 6. Penalties Mercier.

Leeds: Scarbrough; Bartolucci, Mulder, van Straaten (Benson, 49), Hall; Bachop (Davies, 68), Benton (O'Reilly, 49); Wring, Holt (Luffman, 48), Shelley, C Murphy, P Murphy (Mather, 60), Hyde (Fullman, 60), Ponton (Mather, 40-41; Jones, 60), Hogg (Mather, 43-50).

Gloucester: Paul; Albanese (O'Leary, 65), Fanolua, Todd, Simpson-Daniel; Mercier, Gomarsall (Yachvili, 68); Woodman (Collazo, 62), Fortey, Pucciarello (Vickery, 62; Azam 76), Pearce, Fidler (Caillet, 40), Forrester (Sewabu, 79), Boer, Paramore.

Referee: D Pearson (RFU).

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