Gloucester’s Danny Cipriani has split opinion over the past few days following a bizarre kick he made against Connacht at Kingsholm on Sunday. 

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Leading 19-10 in the second half of their Champions Cup encounter, Cipriani attempted a bold cross-field punt in his own 22. 

Shaping up to clear the ball long, the fly-half cannoned a low, flat kick out wide to full-back Tom Marshall, who in turn put winger Louis Rees-Zammit away for a surge down the line. 

Since then, a shedload of fans have debated whether this was intentional or not from the out-of-favour England international. 

Gloucester not only needed to win this match to keep their European hopes alive, they also needed to win with a bonus point (which they did in the end). 

This could have been Cipriani forcing the issue as he is a player who has produced some jaw-dropping moments of magic over the years. He added another to his catalogue of genius moments on Sunday – whether it was intentional or not.

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Equally, if this kick was not executed to absolute precision, the 32-year-old could have been under his posts only seconds later after a Connacht try. The margins for a play like this were razor-thin, but it was from a talisman that has played high-risk rugby his whole career. 

The most compelling proof that this may have been intentional was a very similar kick he did last season against Harlequins. 

His effort on that occasion did have slightly more height, but it was against a much more oppressive Harlequins defence as he did not stand as deep. Although he did have a penalty advantage, this goes to show that he does have this kick in his repertoire. 

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Overall, the game against Connacht had a number of unusual kicks; from Cipriani’s 22-metre drop-out straight into touch on the last play of the first half to a deft switch kick to pin the visitors deep in their half. 

However, only Cipriani will know if his second-half example was intentional or not.  

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