Fight­ing spirit comes to the fore in Plate win

Gloucestershire Echo - - PREMIERSHI­P SEVENS -

GLOUCES­TER bounced back in style on day two at the Pre­mier­ship Rugby 7s as they won the Plate.

The turn­around should not be un­der-es­ti­mated as the Cherry and Whites were the low­est ranked team in the pool stages, the only side to fin­ish on zero points af­ter their two games against Ex­eter and Lon­don Ir­ish.

Glouces­ter might not have got the tro­phy they came for but they were much-im­proved on the sec­ond day to win the Plate for the third year run­ning with cap­tain Alex Mor­gan de­scrib­ing it as a “great achieve­ment.”

Late tries in both the semi­fi­nal and fi­nal saw the young side beat Northamp­ton and Sale re­spec­tively.

“We said we wanted to em­u­late last year and we cer­tainly did that,” said Glouces­ter academy coach Matt Teague.

“I think ev­ery­one at the club will be very proud of this group of play­ers con­sid­er­ing it’s made up of our en­tire se­nior academy, first and sec­ond years, so just an out­stand­ing effort from the boys to come back the way they did to­day af­ter yes­ter­day.” Fight­ing spirit shines through The most pleas­ing aspect of Glouces­ter’s Plate tri­umph was the fight­ing spirit they showed in both games.

They were 28-19 down in the sec­ond half against Northamp­ton but cap­tain Mor­gan, pic­tured, brought them through as he scored two late tries to seal their place in the fi­nal. Once again they looked down and out against

Sale as they trailed 29-17 and this time needed three tries to over­turn the deficit.

A yel­low card for Sale’s Tom Roe­buck helped their cause as Reece Dunn scored from a show and go, quickly fol­lowed by Tom Stan­ton’s close-range effort. Then Stephen Var­ney won the res­tart and showed great feet to jink past his man be­fore run­ning all the way to the try line with time up.

“It was a bit of a roller­coaster com­ing back in both games,” said Teague. “The one thing that gets in­stilled into the boys from a young age at Glouces­ter is to never die with­out a fight and they showed that in buck­et­fuls to­day.” Tri­al­ists im­press While Glouces­ter’s squad was mostly made up of cur­rent academy play­ers, there were two tri­al­ists also in­volved.

Winger Corey How­ells has ac­tu­ally been in the academy be­fore while Char­lie Tchen had also played for the Un­der-18s.

How­ells, in par­tic­u­lar, im­pressed as he showed his power and scored two tries over both days, show­ing great foot­work to score in the open­ing game against Lon­don Ir­ish and scor­ing in the first half of the win over Northamp­ton.

Tchen did not get on the score­sheet but did make one fine run from his own 22 against Ex­eter and both play­ers have staked their claim to earn deals.

Teague said: “They’ve im­pressed. Ob­vi­ously it’s very tough in terms of the tal­ent we’re pro­duc­ing with Glouces­ter Academy so it’s dis­cus­sions we’ve got to have as a wider group but they cer­tainly haven’t done them­selves any harm.”

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