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Gloucester end losing run with victory over Black Lion in Georgia

By PA
Luka Matkava of Black Lion in action during the EPCR Challenge Cup match between Black Lion and Gloucester Rugby at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium on December 9, 2023 in Tbilisi, Georgia. (Photo by Levan Verdzeuli/Getty Images)

George Barton ended Gloucester’s losing streak by kicking five penalties to clinch a 15-10 European Challenge Cup victory over tournament debutants Black Lion in Tbilisi.

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Gloucester made the trip to Georgia after suffering six successive Gallagher Premiership defeats – a sequence of results that had ramped up external pressure on rugby director George Skivington.

But they prevailed in a tense encounter at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, with fly-half Barton the match-winner.

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Barton booted two early penalties before Black Lion went ahead through a Luka Matkava try that he also converted, but Barton completed a hat-trick before the break.

The second period proved try-less, but two more Barton penalties to one from Matkava meant that Gloucester rediscovered a winning formula.

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