European Challenge Cup: Stade Rochelais 20-33 Gloucester

Charlie Sharples
Charlie Sharples has made four appearances for England
European Challenge Cup
Stade Rochelais (13) 20
Tries: Audy, Eaton Cons: Fortassin 2 Pens: Fortassin 2
Gloucester (19) 33
Tries: Morgan, McColl, Sharples Cons: Laidlaw, Twelvetrees 2 Pens: Laidlaw 4,

Gloucester made it two victories from two in Challenge Cup Pool Four as they beat Stade Rochelais in France.

Ben Morgan's solo try for the visitors was quickly cancelled out by Julien Audy in a lively opening 10 minutes.

Gloucester's 19-13 half-time lead was helped by 14 points from the boot of Greig Laidlaw, but Jason Eaton's try edged the hosts ahead after the break.

Two ties in the last nine minutes from replacement Stephen McColl and Charlie Sharples won it for Gloucester.

Laidlaw's penalty gave the visitors an early lead before Fabien Fortassin responded for the hosts.

The first try went Gloucester's way as Morgan spotted a gap and beat the last man, Laidlaw adding the extras.

The hosts hit back four minutes later when Elliot Roudil fed Audy on the inside to go over and Fortassin's conversion levelled the scores.

Three Laidlaw penalties were replied to on the stroke of half-time by Fortassin, which meant Gloucester led by six at the break.

But the hosts turned that deficit around when Eaton ran in and Fortassin's conversion gave his side a one-point advantage.

Gloucester won it when great work from the backs sent McColl in to go over, while Sharples scored a brilliant solo try. Billy Twelvetrees converted both to seal the win.

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

"I'm delighted to get the win, there were patches of the game I thought we were quite good - some of the stuff we did well and then we made a couple of small errors.

"In the end to come to France and to win - as we proved last year - is a tough thing to do, especially in La Rochelle with a fantastic atmosphere for a Thursday night - I thought we were very good.

"There were two outstanding tries - Ben Morgan's and Charlie Sharples' run in - those are tries we know we can score, if we can cut out the mistakes and have those moments of magic we're a team who can compete with anybody."

Gloucester: Hook; Sharples, Meakes, Atkinson, Purdy; Twelvetrees (capt), Laidlaw; McAllister, Hibbard, Afoa, Savage, Thrush, Moriarty, Kvesic, Morgan.

Replacements: Lindsay, Thomas, Doran-Jones, Kalamafoni, Rowan, Heinz, McColl, Cook.

Stade Rochelais: Bouldoire; Notham, Roudil, Hingano, Lacroix; Fortassin, Audy; Corbel, Geledan, Bazadze, Qovu, Cedaro, Eaton, Sazy, Gourdon.

Replacements: Gau, Synaeghel, Pelo, Lagrange, Kieft, Meron, Lebail, Carre.

Attendance: 14,000

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy).

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