Agony at home for London Irish in the seventh round of the Gallagher Premiership as Gloucester Rugby cruised to victory 22-21 with a sublime drop lens flyhalf Adam Hastings.
The hosts led for much of the match, going 18-12 at half-time with tries from Augstín Creevy and Ben Loader.
Gloucester managed to put themselves on the scoresheet with tries from Santiago Socino and Ruan Ackermann before the break.
A penalty from Paddy Jackson saw the Irish score the first points of the second half, however, a second try from Socino and an unforgettable drop goal from Hastings into the Gloucester half sealed victory for the visitors.
Hastings, who was named in Gregor Townsend’s Scotland team for the upcoming Fall Nations Series scored an incredible long-range drop goal to give his team the lead and ultimately victory.
Concerns have arisen for England ahead of the Autumn Nations Series as wingers Jonny May and Henry Arundell both left the pitch injured in the first half.
May landed badly on his left arm following a competition for the ball in the air, while Arundell struggled with an earlier injury to his right foot.
Arundell will still travel to Jersey with Eddie Jones crew next week, however, May is unlikely to join.
The London Irish started with intent at the Gtech Community Stadium. Early pressure on their winners led to hooker Creevy coming down from the back of a driving maul three minutes into the match.
With the thin-voiced roving fans behind the posts, strong carries from Gloucester’s Giorgi Kveseladze and Ackermann allowed Hastings to clear the pass for Socino to score his first of the game, diving on the blindside whitewash.
Gloucester were denied what would have been a superb cross-kick try as the Irish defense came into action to beat May to the ball.
The Irish were quickly rewarded for their defensive efforts with Loader collecting the ball in the air from a pinpoint kick from Jackson.
Beating May through the air in the process, he propelled himself through Charlie Chapman’s tackle and pointed into the corner.
Gloucester continued to deliver from their trademark driving lineup, as Ackermann spotted a gap at the back and fought his way down the line.
The hosts led 18-12 at the break in what turned out to be another close Gallagher Premiership game, with a point eventually separating the two sides.
After the break, a Paddy Jackson penalty saw the Irish extend their lead.
Gloucester was expected to respond soon as Socino went over for that second after another solid effort from the front pack into the driving lineup.
With nineteen minutes remaining, Hastings netted an exceptional drop goal from inside his own half that traveled over 50 yards to put his side ahead.
The match was contested until the end by both teams, with the final minutes providing intense viewing for both groups of fans.
A Gloucester penalty eventually ended the match, with a result that saw them finish third in the table at the end of the seventh round.
London Irish drop to the bottom of the table and face London rivals Harlequins in their next game.
Gloucester head coach George Skivington has praised fly-half Hasting’s kicking recently and his drop goal.
“He is brilliant. His boot was really good for us at the start of the season, he worked really hard.
He also spoke about the half-time conversations that had an impact in the second half.
“The discipline towards the end was brilliant. We had to settle some things at half-time on how things were going for or against us and let’s fix them and be smart. I thought the boys did that against a very tough team to beat. he said.
The work rate of a recent addition to Eddie Jone’s England squad, Gloucester front row Val Rapava-Ruskin, alongside the team’s coaching staff, was also praised by Skivington .
“Because of him, he’s worked incredibly hard, and we’ve worked incredibly hard on him as well. Above all, fitness wise, decision wise, scrum wise. Trevor Woodman did a great job on his scrum.
Val owned him, he adopted him, we pushed him very, very hard and having him selected for England is great for him but it’s also great for the program, strength and conditioning. , medical, everyone who worked hard to get him there.
Declan Kidney, director of Irish rugby in London, was frustrated at the final whistle.
“These games are on small margins, and here we are, we don’t want to be a team that is learning all the time. We know we can give Gloucester credit for what they’ve done well, and we’ll look at what we need to improve on to top ourselves. We hit it, but you can hit all you want, you really have to work your way through it,” he said.
15 Henry Arundell, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Benhard van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson (c), 9 Ben White, 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 5 Rob Simmons, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 7 Tom Pearson, 8 So’otala Fa’aso’o.
16 Isaac Miller, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Chunya Munga, 20 Chandler Cunningham-South, 21 Caolan Englefield, 22 Will Joseph, 23 Tom Parton
15. Santiago Carreras 14. Louis Rees-Zammit 13. Chris Harris 12. Giorgi Kveseladze 11. Jonny May 10. Adam Hastings 9. Charlie Chapman 1. Val Rapava-Ruskin 2. Santiago Socino 3. Fraser Balmain 4. Freddie Clarke 5. Matias Alemanno 6. Jordy Reid 7. Lewis Ludlow (c) 8. Ruan Ackermann
16. Jack Singleton 17. Harry Elrington 18. Ciaran Knight 19. Cam Jordan 20. Albert Tuisue 21. Stephen Varney 22. Jack Reeves 23. Lloyd Evans