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Gloucester v Harlequins – Preview

Thursday 17th November 2011

12:00 am (GMT)

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Gloucester will be looking to complete the double over Heineken Cup new boys

Gloucester will be looking to complete the double over Heineken Cup new boys

Gloucester face Harlequins in a mouth-watering all-English clash in Pool 6 at Kingsholm on Saturday afternoon.

Quins, who are the only unbeaten side in all competitions in Europe this season, will put their 11-game and 100 percent winning record on the line against their fellow Premiership side.

Harlequins, who lifted last season’s Amlin Challenge Cup in Cardiff emerged with a 25-17 win over tournament new boys Connacht last weekend and will play Gloucester for the first time in the Heineken Cup.

Gloucester will be looking to kick start their European campaign after coming back from Toulouse, the home of the four time champions, with a creditable losing bonus point on Sunday.

The West Country giants only lost by 21-17 in France on the weekend and gave European rugby’s most decorated side a real run for their money in their own backyard.

The Cherry and Whites have won their last three games at home in the Heineken Cup and they will be determined to make sure they do not surrender that record to their countrymen from the English capital.

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Quins march on at Kingsholm

Saturday 19th November 2011

12:00 am (GMT)

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Man of the match Mike Brown said taking their chances better than Gloucester was a key factor in their Kingsholm victory. - 19/11/2011 18:43

Man of the match Mike Brown said taking their chances better than Gloucester was a key factor in their Kingsholm victory. - 19/11/2011 18:43

Harlequins’ incredible start to the season continued on Saturday night as they secured a convincing win over Gloucester in Pool 6.

Quins have now won all 12 games this term and are two from two in their first season back in the Heineken Cup.

The reigning Amlin Challenge Cup Champions made light work of Gloucester’s impressive home record as they finished 28-9 winners on Saturday night.

The English Premiership leaders outscored their hosts by three tries to nil despite Gloucester enjoying the Lions’ share of possession and territory.

Quins led 15-6 at the break thanks to tries at either ends of the first-half with Heineken Man of the Match Mike Brown crossing inside the first five minutes and centre Matt Hopper following suit 90 seconds before the interval.

Brown’s effort was the result of a well-worked overlap wide on the right after Quins won lineout ball on the opposite side of the field, while Hooper burrowed under two tackles following a patient build up as the visitors displayed their clinical nature.

Gloucester were impressive for large parts of the opening half but only had two Freddie Burns penalties to show for their efforts. Lesley Vainikolo and Akapusi Qera created plenty of excitement with a series of stunning runs but the Quins defence held firm despite a mountain of pressure from the home side.

Vainikolo came closest to a Gloucester score on seven minutes but the giant centre was brought down just short having made a mockery of four attempted tackles.

The second period was an equally lively affair, with Quins blindside Maurie Fa’asavalu seeing yellow for a dangerous tackle on 47 minutes. But Gloucester failed to capitalise on their one-man advantage as they scored just a single penalty in the Samoan’s absence.

And with Nick Evans having slotted a penalty of his own moments after the second half kicked off, Quins were always more than a converted try ahead of a Gloucester side who made too many errors to work themselves back into the game.

Nick Easter then put the result beyond doubt with a breakaway try with seven minutes remaining as Quins marched onwards and upwards towards a December double header with French giants Toulouse.

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