Carreras boots Gloucester into European Challenge Cup semi-finals

Santiago Carreras kicked six penalties to steer Gloucester to the European Challenge Cup semi-finals after a 23-13 win over Ospreys in front of a raucous crowd at Kingsholm.

The victory earns them a home semi-final against the winners of the Benetton vs Connacht fixture.

Hooker Seb Blake scored their only try to reward their pack who shaded the forward battle by placing Ospreys under pressure in both scrum and line-out with Ruan Ackermann and Zach Mercer punching holes in their defence.

Keelan Giles scored an excellent try for the Welsh side with former Gloucester player Owen Williams adding two penalties and a conversion but they will rue their ill-discipline on the night as they were penalised at will by the French referee.

Image: Keelan Giles scored the first try of the European Challenge Cup encounter

A simple penalty from Carreras gave Gloucester an early lead but they soon fell behind to a superb try.

On half-way, Adam Hastings over-hit a chip ahead, which Jack Walsh collected at pace to run 45 metres before providing Giles with an easy run-in.

Williams converted before Carreras kicked his second penalty to leave his side trailing 7-6 at the end of a competitive first quarter.

A poor straight-into-touch clearance from Stephen Varney then gifted the visitors an attacking platform from where Williams extended his side’s lead with a straightforward penalty.

Ospreys’ line-out was a source of concern for them losing three on their own throw in the first 25 minutes and they were made to pay when Blake finished off a driving line-out.

Gloucester vs Ospreys European Challenge Cup quarter-final
Image: Gloucester stood firm to secure the win and their semi-final spot

Carreras missed the touchline conversion but succeeded with his third penalty after Ospreys had made his task easier by losing 10 metres for back chat to the referee.

With the last kick of the half, Williams booted his second penalty to leave Gloucester with a 14-13 advantage at the interval.

After a restart, a poor kick from Walsh when under no pressure lost his side 50 metres but flanker Harri Deaves won a crucial penalty at the breakdown to relieve the pressure.

Gloucester lost centre Max Llewellyn to injury but they overcame that to collect the first points of the second half with another penalty from Carreras.

An elusive breakaway from Luke Morgan won the Welsh Region a penalty but Williams’ kick rebounded back off a post.

Williams was made to pay for his miss as Carreras was soon on target with his fifth as Ospreys’ skipper continued to debate decisions with referee Pierre Brousset.

Brousset was quickly signalling another penalty in Gloucester’s favour, this time from a scrum, and again Carreras made no mistake to send the hosts into the semi-finals.

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Source : Sky Sports