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BBC Sport's David Reed
"Roma came close to causing an upset"
 real 14k

Gloucester coach John Brain
"We were doing things very well"
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banner Saturday, 20 January, 2001, 16:34 GMT
Gloucester secure last eight spot
Phillipe Saint-Andre and Tom Walkinshaw
Manager and owner look forward to quarter-final rugby
Roma 29-38 Gloucester

Gloucester qualified for the quarter-finals of the European Cup with a much anticipated victory in Roma.

Simon Mannix kicked eight penalties and converted both Gloucester tries in a 38-29 victory.

Joe Ewens and the former Australian international Jason Little crossed for the Cherry and Whites who found, as Llanelli and Colomiers had previously, that the Romans are no easy pushover at home.

Although Roma failed to break their duck in this season's competition they took consolation from outscoring their visitors by four tries to two.

Tries were run in by Nicholas Martin, Alfredo De Angelis, Luca Corona and Ramiro Perez, who was also on target with three conversions and a penalty.

But it was Gloucester's Kiwi stand-off Mannix who stole the kicking honours at Tre Fontane and he was so on top of his game he even attempted a penalty from his own 10-metre line which fell just short.

After 26 minutes Gloucester were 25-3 ahead and apparently cruising.

But then they switched off, perhaps with thoughts of next weekend's quarter-final coming to the fore and the home side rallied.

At one point Roma had cut the deficit to just four points, reducing the West Country side to desperate kicking tactics and arguing amongst themselves.

The Italians were playing the more attractive rugby and showed an enthusiasm for the contest that matched their professional opponents.

But as the game moved into the final minutes, Mannix kept a cool head and slotted his eighth penalty before delivering the telling path that gave Little the winning try.

Roma will consider this a moral victory and a good advertisement for Italian club rugby but will be regretting their lack of discipline, which allowed Mannix to make such a significant contribution.

Gloucester were the more streetwise and in the end their experience made all the difference.

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Heineken teams look to quarter-finals
Europe takes shape

See also:

21 Jan 01 |  Heineken Cup
Heineken action hots up
19 Jan 01 |  Heineken Cup
Scarlets face anxious wait
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