We’re our own worst en­emy – Jo­han

Western Daily Press - - Sport - ROBERT ILES [email protected]­plc.com

JO­HAN Ack­er­mann was left to lament Glouces­ter’s ba­sic er­rors after their Heineken Cham­pi­ons Cup de­feat at home to Mun­ster.

A 41-15 de­feat ended his side’s hopes of reach­ing the quar­ter­fi­nals in their first sea­son back in Europe’s top com­pe­ti­tion.

High­light­ing the key dif­fer­ences be­tween the sides, Glouces­ter head coach Ack­er­mann said: “I think prob­a­bly the ae­rial con­tests and the li­ne­outs.

“We ac­tu­ally had good li­ne­outs, but it was just tim­ing and lit­tle things that went wrong and the big­gest thing was the de­fence.

“The stats said we were at the same level of per­cent­age of car- ries and ev­ery­thing, but it’s how strong they were in that de­fence.

“We had to work very hard. We gave them easy mo­men­tum, so we need to up that part – the phys­i­cal­ity of the de­fence – but even when we at­tack they were very ba­sic and di­rect, but it worked for them and then they saw the kick space be­hind and that is some­thing we can look at to ex­ploit more.

“I don’t want to take any­thing away from Mun­ster. They were so clin­i­cal. So ba­sic but clin­i­cal and that’s what we need to get to.

“I think we were our own worst en­emy and they were good when they had the ball.

“For me, the big­gest con­cern is we speak a lot off the field and we know where things go wrong, but it’s time to fix them on the field.”

GLOUCES­TER’S hopes of reach­ing the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Heineken Cham­pi­ons Cup were em­phat­i­cally ended by a classy Mun­ster at a sold-out King­sholm on Fri­day night.

Fly-half Joey Car­bery scored 26 points in a won­der­ful in­di­vid­ual dis­play, scor­ing two tries as the Ir­ish gi­ants show­cased a gulf in class be­tween the sides. Mun­ster led 20-3 at half-time with Car­berry and Rory Scan­nell scor­ing the tries after a Billy Twel­ve­trees penalty had given Glouces­ter the lead.

Al­though Glouces­ter scored two tries in the sec­ond half through Ol­lie Thor­ley and Fraser Bal­main, the Ir­ish side al­ways re­sponded and scored three of their own through Keith Earls, An­drew Con­way and Car­bery. It was the most points that Glouces­ter have shipped in a Euro­pean game.

The Cherry and Whites were able to ex­ert early pres­sure as Ger­brandt Grob­ler did su­perbly to win the short kick-off be­fore they won a penalty and they opted to kick to the cor­ner in­stead of the posts.

How­ever, when Glouces­ter won a penalty 45 me­tres out 12 min­utes in, they called for the tee with Twel­veteres giv­ing them the lead, but it was can­celled out by a Car­bery penalty after 20 min­utes.

Mun­ster went ahead four min­utes later as CJ Stander ran over a few tack­les and Chris Far­rell went close be­fore space opened up for Car­bery to cross. The fly-half added the ex­tras and an­other penalty after 27 min­utes to open up a 13-3 ad­van­tage.

The vis­i­tors scored an­other try in first-half in­jury-time. They went over from their 27th phase as Scan­nell shook off the tackle from Char­lie Sharples and pow­ered over. Car­bery con­verted for 20-3 at the break.

Glouces­ter needed a good start to the sec­ond half and they got it, al­though it took them 35 phases to breach the Mun­ster de­fence. Ed Slater and Sharples went close be­fore Danny Cipri­ani floated a pass over the top for Thor­ley to score, but Twel­ve­trees then hit the post.

Mun­ster hit back, though, with Billy Hol­land of­fload­ing for Earls to score in the cor­ner, and Car­bery added the ex­tras.

Glouces­ter gave them­selves an­other flicker of hope when Bal­main scored from a pick and go with Twel­ve­trees con­vert­ing.

But Mun­ster put those hopes to bed pretty quickly as they scored two quick-fire tries, firstly Con­way rac­ing onto Car­bery’s kick to clinch the bonus-point. The next one came less than 45 sec­onds after Car­bery’s con­ver­sion.

After Glouces­ter won the restart, Ben Mor­gan’s pass was picked off bril­liantly by Car­bery, who ran all the way for a try un­der the posts be­fore adding the con­ver­sion to round off the vic­tory.

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