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London Welsh 25 Gloucester 31

London Welsh 25 Gloucester 31: Burns bites back to settle thrilling encounter

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UPDATED:

16:52 GMT, 30 September 2012

Freddie Burns boosted his England hopes as his attacking spark helped Gloucester avoid becoming London Welsh's latest Aviva Premiership scalp in a Kassam Stadium thriller.

The visitors appeared in control as they opened up an 18-9 interval lead thanks to tries from Shane Monahan and Tom Savage, with Burns involved in the creation of both scores.

But the boot of Gordon Ross, who ended the game with 20 points to his name, kept Welsh in it and Franck Montanella's try looked to have set Lyn Jones' men up for a third-straight win.

Stopped: Daniel Browne of London Welsh is tackled by Mike Tindall of Gloucester

Stopped: Daniel Browne of London Welsh is tackled by Mike Tindall of Gloucester

Match facts

London Welsh: Jewell, Arscott, Parker, Tonga'uiha, Scott, Ross, Keats, Montanella, Briggs, Ion, Mills, Corker, Browne, Hills,
Jackson.

Replacements: Runciman for Jewell (76),
Mackenzie for Parker (20), To'oala for Ross (76), Bristow for Montanella (66), George for Briggs (11), Jolly for Ion (52), Kulemin for Browne (75).

Not Used: Davis.

Tries: Montanella.

Cons: Ross.

Pens: Ross 6.

Gloucester: Cook, Monahan, Twelvetrees, Tindall, Simpson-Daniel, Burns, Robson, Wood, D'Apice, Harden, Savage, Hamilton, Buxton, Qera, Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Lewis for Tindall (63), Trinder for Robson (63), Murphy for Wood (64).

Not Used: Britton, Knight, James, Evans, M. Thomas.

Sin Bin: Burns (42).

Tries: Monahan, Savage, Knight.

Cons: Burns 2.

Pens: Burns 3, Twelvetrees.

Att: 3,072

Ref: Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts (RFU).

However, a thrilling counter-attack instigated and supported by Burns, back after a spell in the sin bin, saw replacement prop Shaun Knight barrel over for the clinching score.

Burns and Ross had traded early penalties before the visitors landed the first telling blow.

Welsh had lost hooker Neil Briggs and centre Sonny Parker to injury when Burns struck his second penalty before producing two moments of brilliance to create the opening try.

The fly-half launched a break from deep with a lovely sidestep and only Nick Scott's deliberate batting down of the scoring pass prevented a try.

The Exiles wing was sent to the sin bin for his trouble and Burns caught the hosts sleeping as he took a quick tap to allow the powerful Monahan to get over on the right.

Ross responded with a penalty for Welsh but they were fortunate not to concede a second try to Monahan when the winger brilliantly swerved his way out of the grasps of the Exiles cover, only to be denied a memorable score by a superb covering tackle from Tyson Keats.

It proved a brief reprieve as more
good work from Monahan and wing partner James Simpson-Daniel laid the
platform for Savage to barge over after Burns had gone close.

Ross
again responded with a penalty but Welsh were being forced into
ill-discipline as they struggled to contain Gloucester's desire to put
tempo on the game.

They
were also guilty of failing to convert two excellent tryscoring chances.
Lock Matt Corker sparked a thrilling counter from deep during the dying
embers of the first half, but repeated battering at the Gloucester line
yielded no reward.

And moments into the second half Ross
failed to get his pass away with several men free outside him as Burns
stepped in and was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on.

That
saw the Gloucester man binned and Ross kicked his fourth penalty, but
Welsh infringed moments later after failing to secure their own line-out
ball to let Billy Twelvetrees reinstate the nine-point gap between the
sides.

Give that to me: Paulica Ion tackles Tom Savage

Give that to me: Paulica Ion tackles Tom Savage

Denied: Hudson Tonga'uiha of London Welsh is tackled by Tindall

Denied: Hudson Tonga'uiha of London Welsh is tackled by Tindall

When the Exiles did manage to win set-piece ball their rolling maul was proving a handful for Gloucester, and one such surge led to Ross' fifth penalty.

The hosts then took the lead after more strong work from their pack. Several drives took them close to the line before Montanella was adjudged to have grounded the ball beneath a pile of bodies.

Ross converted for a one-point advantage and quickly added yet another penalty after Sione Kalamafoni was penalised for attempting to hurdle a pair of London Welsh defenders.

But Burns replied with his third penalty and then superbly created Knight's winning try to give Stuart Lancaster a glimpse of what he could offer come the autumn internationals.

Boost for Ireland hopes of hosting World Cup 2023

Hopes of Irish World Cup in 2023 raised after GAA make stadia available

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 19 August 2012

Ireland's plans to launch a formal bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup have been given a significant boost as the Gaelic Athletic Association have taken a first step towards making large Gaelic games stadia available for matches.

Any bid by the IRFU would be dependent on outside assistance, due to the dearth of suitable rugby grounds – with only Lansdowne Road in Dublin (50,000) and Thomond Park in Limerick (26,000) offering the necessary size and facilities.

Possibilities: Ireland could use Croke Park to host the World Cup

Possibilities: Ireland could use Croke Park to host the World Cup

Therefore, the news that the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) will consider changing their regulations to permit co-operation with the bid for rugby’s showpiece event gives impetus to the prospective Irish bid.

On Saturday, the GAA’s Central Council agreed to raise the matter at the organisation’s annual Congress. A positive ruling would clear the way for the IRFU to include in their bid Croke Park in Dublin – where Ireland played while Lansdowne Road was being redeveloped – Casement Park in Belfast, Cork’s Pairc Ui Chaoimh, the Limerick Gaelic Grounds, Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney and Galway’s Pearse Stadium.

Emphasising the determination of the IRFU to push forward with their bid plans, chief executive Philip Browne said: ‘The Rugby World Cup in New Zealand showed what a country of four million people could achieve in terms of attracting visitors and showcasing the potential of a country, so an overall Ireland bid is something that the government was keen to discuss with us.

‘We are at the early stages of examining the feasibility of a bid and part of this study is to determine the interest and support of Government and other relevant bodies.’