RUGBY: Ankle injury is a scare for Gloucester star Billy Twelvetrees

INJURY CONCERN: Billy Twelvetrees

INJURY CONCERN: Billy Twelvetrees

First published in Sport by

DIRECTOR of rugby Nigel Davies admits the extent of Billy Twelvetrees' injury is not yet known after the Gloucester centre took a blow to his ankle in a dramatic 38-30 win against London Irish.

Twelvetrees departed the field just nine minutes in after Sione Kalamafoni and Charlie Sharples had got the Cherry & Whites off to an electric start.

Then replacement Shane Monahan and Exiles flyer Marland Yarde exchanged a hat-trick of tries in an increasingly wild game.

In the second half Freddie Burns collected three penalties as Gloucester edged the victory, but Davies refused to get carried away with the result after a disappointing Aviva Premiership season.

And Davies said Twelvetrees' injury situation will become clearer in the next two days, with an England tour to New Zealand in June possibly hanging in the balance.

"It's an ankle problem but with all of these things it's very difficult to give a formal assessment," said Davies.

"We will monitor the situation over the next 48-hours and in that period we will have a scan to determine the amount of damage.

"It's not great for him but until we have a clearer picture we can't say how serious it is.

"We all know how committed Billy is as a player and for him to come off , especially in this game with a lot of emotion going on, says a lot but we will have to wait and see.

"(The win) gives us a little bit of confidence and belief going into the last game of the season against Worcester, but there's a lot of work to do heading into next season as well.

"(Yarde) is an excellent rugby player, if you give him time, space, and opportunity he's going to hurt you.

"That's what we did, a lot of their tries came from we had the ball and turnover. The inaccuracy in that area still frustrates. We've just got to be smarter than that.

"If there's any good to come out of this season is that it's identified a lot of issues, not only the players' current ability, but even deeper than that.

"There's a lot we can put right in the next pre-season. We will be a different team next year."

Apart from briefly flirting with the lead in the second half, Irish were always trailing after Kalamafoni and Sharples' one-two sucker punch early on.

And following a similar start at Northampton Saints last week, director of rugby Brian Smith admits his troops need to stop shooting themselves in the foot.

"When you give someone such a big lead and chew up so much energy to get back and poke your nose in front, the opposition will have that bit of emotional energy to throw a last couple of punches, which knocked us out," he said.

"We have to learn lessons because that is two games now where we have given our opponents a flier.

"The chat in the changing-rooms at half-time was very positive, but we do need to work out what it is that is wrong because straight after half-time we got hit by a sucker punch.

"That hurt us and we had to scramble again."

Gloucester: Cook; Sharples (Meakes, 21), Tindall, Twelvetrees (Monahan, 9), May; Burns, Cowan (Robson, 63); Thomas (Murphy, 55), Edmonds (George, 74), Puafisi, Stooke, James (Savage, 51), Kalamafoni, Kvesic (Young, 63), Morgan.

London Irish: Homer (Lewington, 62); Yarde, Mulchrone, Sheridan, Fenby; Humphreys (Dorrian, 77), O'Leary (Allinson, 53); Parr (Smallbone, 77), Stevens (Mayhew, 55), Halavatau (Hagan, 47), Gough (Evans, 48), Rouse, Low, Sinclair, Hala'ufia (Ellis, 40).

Scorers Gloucester Tries: Kalamafoni, Sharples, Monahan 3 Conversions: Twelvetrees, Burns

Penalties: Burns 3

London Irish Tries: Yarde 3, Ellis Conversions: Humphreys 2

Penalties: Humphreys, Dorrian

Attendance: 14,915

Referee: Steve Lee

 

Be part of the world's biggest club rugby final. To buy your tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 31 May at Twickenham go to www.tickethour.co.uk/premierrugby

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