Fanolua pounces to leave Cardiff broken hearted

Gloucester 23 - Cardiff 19

Kingsholm has been the scene of many a murky deed over the years, but the gloom last night could be put down to two things - the weather and the home side's erratic performance.

Kingsholm has been the scene of many a murky deed over the years, but the gloom last night could be put down to two things - the weather and the home side's erratic performance.

There were few echoes of Anglo-Welsh confrontations of the past between these two sides. Cardiff are the lowest of the Welsh teams in the Celtic League, lying eighth out of 11, whereas Gloucester sit in fifth place in the Zurich Premiership. On paper a home banker, on the Kingsholm turf not a bit of it. Not with the missed kicks and opportunities and the growing self-belief of a sharp Cardiff side.

Although the ease with which Terry Fanolua crossed for Gloucester's opening try in the fourth minute did suggest that the home side were going to run through an inexperienced Cardiff team.

But after Henry Paul had put Fanolua into space for that first try Cardiff rallied well. Paul missed his first kick of the night when he pulled a fairly straight forward penalty wide and Lee Thomas then countered with a goal of his own. That shifted the balance.

Maybe it was the descending fog, but Gloucester suddenly could not seem to find a pathway to the Cardiff line. Worse, the Welsh side decided to launch counter strikes, which culminated in Martyn Williams, feeding his namesake Rhys, who then sent Tom Shanklin over.

When Cardiff lost Kort Schubert to the sin bin for killing the ball it did not look too good for them. Paul had landed his first penalty by then to level the scores. But Gloucester failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority and instead found themselves falling behind again when Lee Thomas knocked over his second penalty and capped a fine first half with a 40m drop goal.

The loss of James Simpson-Daniel at half-time did not help Gloucester, but when Schubert found himself isolated after a scrum the home side pounced ruthlessly.

They swung the ball down the line until it reached speedster James Bailey, Simpson-Daniel's replacement, and he scorched around what was left of the Cardiff defence to touch down in the right hand corner for an unconverted try.

Gloucester had already re-shuffled their back line once and were forced into further changes on the hour when Jon Goodridge limped off. His replacement Alex Page, a scrum-half, found himself out on the right wing and Bailey dropped to full-back.

At least Paul found his radar in the fog that was rolling ever more thickly and countered Lee Thomas's third goal with his second success to drag Gloucester to within a point.

Then came Fanolua's second big moment, when he chased and gathered Paul's neat chip to dive over in the right hand corner with Rhys Williams hanging on his back. Cardiff by then had been reduced to 14 men for the second time when Shaun James was sent to the sin bin for taking out a man off the ball in an offside position. Thereafter Gloucester managed to hold on to their slender lead.

Gloucester: J Goodridge (A Page, 60); M Garvey (J Bailey, 20), N Mauger, T Fanolua, J Simpson-Daniel (B Davies, h-t); H Paul, A Gomarsall; C Bezuidenhout, J Parkes (R Elloway, 80), G Powell, A Eustace, P Buxton (M Cornwell, 80), J Boer (capt), A Balding, A Hazell (J Forrester, 54).

Cardiff: R Williams; F Tuilagi, S James, T Shanklin, C Morgan; L Thomas, D Dewdney; J Yapp (M Jones, 77), R Thomas, G Jenkins, D Jones, R Sidoli, N Thomas (R Sowden-Taylor, 71), K Schubert, M Williams (capt).

Referee: D Courtney (Ireland).

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015