Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Skivington and Booth react to Gloucester Challenge Cup win over Ospreys

Jonny May battles in contact - PA

Gloucester director of rugby George Skivington praised his side’s defence as they recorded a deserved 23-13 victory over Ospreys at Kingsholm in an attritional contest to secure a home semi-final in the European Challenge Cup.


Benetton or Connacht will be their opponents on the first weekend in May but an improved performance will be needed if they are to progress to the final.

Santiago Carreras kicked six penalties for them with hooker Seb Blake scoring their only try to reward a pack who shaded the forward battle by placing Ospreys under pressure in both scrum and line-out.

Video Spacer

Jake Whites previews the Bulls’ face-off with Northampton Saints

Video Spacer

Jake Whites previews the Bulls’ face-off with Northampton Saints

Keelan Giles scored an excellent try for Ospreys 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 French referee Pierre Brousset.

Skivington said: “After missing so many tackles in our league fixture against Bristol, we’ve had a big focus on our defence in the last two weeks so I’m really pleased at how we went in that area.

“We knew Ospreys would go hard at the breakdown and they got into us early on and caught us on the counter with an excellent try.

“Despite it being only 14-13 at the interval, we were happy we were doing the right things but overall we weren’t accurate enough.


“We are lucky to have secured a number of knock-out games at home so far this season and the more we bring to Kingsholm the better.”

Challenge Cup
23 - 13
All Stats and Data

Gloucester number eight Zach Mercer added: “I have had a chest infection all week but I knew I had to get out there as it’s all we’ve got left to play for this season.

“If we can win this competition to add to our Premiership Cup success then it will still be a decent season with two trophies despite what’s happened in the Premiership.

“We had a lot of injuries early on to key players, Adam Hastings, Ruan Ackermann, and Val Rapava-Ruskin so it took some time for us to click.


“Tonight we got the scoreboard ticking over but we need to be a lot better by taking our chances.”

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth was frustrated with his side’s performance.

He said: “Gloucester deserved to win but I’m bitterly disappointed and frustrated by elements of our performance.

“We didn’t stand up as well as we should as we had an opportunity to move forward in this competition and didn’t take it.

“We weren’t as good as we could have been and needed to control the environment better as some of our offsides were needless.

“They got seven to 10 points in front and when that happens it’s difficult to claw back as they continued to squeeze us and we couldn’t break it.”



Join free



Trending on RugbyPass


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

5 Go to comments
TRENDING Fashion-savvy ex-England No10 Jacob Umaga opens up on national switch Fashion-savvy ex-England No10 Jacob Umaga opens up on national switch