Gloucester 38-34 Ulster: George Barton makes one last try after a tense game to give the English team a shot in the arm during the Champions Cup game
- The speech of Danny Cipriani’s departure was banned after an exciting competition
- The hosts threatened to blow it up, despite Ulster dropping to 13 men at one point
- However, George Barton scored a late attempt to give Gloucester the four points
As Alexandre Ruiz whistled and the clock neared 85 minutes, Gloucester fans finally had someone to talk about.
Discussions about Danny Cipriani’s early departure had dominated the Kingsholm grandstands, but they were brought to a late, breathless halt.
The names of Lloyd Evans and George Barton, previously Cipriani’s second and third violins, would mean little to most European rugby fans. But when their team’s Champions Cup campaign came to an unsuccessful conclusion, they teamed up in the very last game to claim victory.
Young Gloucester player George Barton crawls over to keep the hosts’ European dreams alive
The seesaw game halted discussion of star Danny Cipriani’s departure on Tuesday
The 2,000 followers broke out. They stamped their feet and made enough noise to make up for the absenteeism and breathed a sigh of relief at the same time. George Skivington’s team made the win tough. They couldn’t get a point when Ulster had two men in sin and took 24 unanswered points before putting their skills to the test in the final seconds.
“I’ve talked a lot this week about things I’d rather not talk about, so it was nice,” said Skivington.
“A player who is not eliminated under any circumstances can always be a distraction, but the guys are professional and their job is to get on the field and play well. They have all spoken to Danny and wished him well, but they did the job in hand.
Lloyd and George did exactly what I imagined. Backs trainer Alex King has them well under control and teaches them the tricks of the trade. It’s no surprise to me that Lloyd handled this game pretty well, and it’s no surprise that George comes and delivers in the end. ‘
Amid the frenzy, center Mark Atkinson offered a voice of experience in midfield at Gloucester. After seven minutes, he threw a loop pass that Cipriani would be proud of. The ball fell straight into Louis Rees-Zammit’s hands to give the hosts an early lead.
But for much of the game, it seemed like former Gloucester favorite Billy Burns was going after his old side as he quickly slipped through a hole in the dog-legged defense to level the score.