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).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'