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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 October, 2004, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Stade Francais 39-31 Gloucester
HEINEKEN CUP POOL 6
Stade Francais' Mirco Bergamasco escapes Gloucester's Duncan McRae
Stade Francais: (10) 39
Tries: Pichot (2), Marconnet (2), Mirco Bergamasco
Cons: Skrela (4)
Pens: Skrela
Drops: Skrela

Gloucester: (11) 31
Tries: Forrester, Simpson-Daniel (2)
Cons: Paul (2)
Pens: Paul (4)

Stade Francais blitzed Gloucester with a second-half surge in the Heineken Cup tie at Stade Jean Bouin.

The home side trailed 11-10 at the break but four tries blew the visitors' challenge off the park in Paris.

Stade scored through Sylvain Marconnet (2), Agustin Pichot (2) and Mirco Bergamasco to earn a bonus point.

Gloucester went over first with James Forrester but they were stunned by Stade's charge, though a late rally saw James Simpson-Daniel score twice.

Gloucester welcomed back England prop Phil Vickery, making his first start in six months since picking up a back injury.

For Stade Francais Mirco Bergamasco replaced the injured Brian Liebenberg, while Pichot also returned from injury.

In dry, sunny conditions, Gloucester's backs began on the front foot and threatened with several half breaks early on.

But Stade Francais opened the scoring with a drop-goal from fly-half David Skrela on nine minutes.

We should have been further ahead than 11-10 at half-time
Gloucester boss Nigel Melville

Gloucester's Henry Paul cancelled it out with a well-struck penalty soon after before his side finally found the breakthrough they had threatened from the off.

A dramatic blind-side burst from hooker Olivier Azam put number eight Forrester clear, and the Gloucester loose-forward was uncatchable from outside his opponent's 22.

Minutes later, Gloucester spurned a golden chance of another score when impressive wing Simpson-Daniel scorched clear from his own half, only to see the final pass go down.

Stade Francais' forwards were equally fired up and rumbled to within yards of the visitors line to set up Pichot for a short-range try, converted by Skrela, on 29 minutes.

Another Paul penalty gave Gloucester a slender lead at the break, and after a concerted period of pressure from the English side's pack, Paul slotted another kick shortly after.

We're disappointed and frustrated not to have come to Paris and won
Gloucester assistant coach Dean Ryan

But the French side immediately surged back upfield for prop Marconnet to score, though full-back Jon Goodridge got up to charge down Skrela's conversion.

The home side opened up some daylight with a Skrela penalty before stretching the lead with a second burrowing try for Pichot after unrelenting pressure.

Paul clawed three points back for Gloucester but the powerful Parisian pack pushed over Marconnet for his second, and a bonus point for scoring four tries, on 66 minutes.

Stade were beginning to run rampant and worked an opening for Mirco Bergamasco to dash home soon after to open a 22-point gap.

With all the hard work seemingly over, Stade sat back as Gloucester staged a last stand with Simpson-Daniel popping up for two quick tries.

But time was the enemy and Gloucester missed out on a bonus point for defeat by seven points or less.


Stade Francais: Dominici; Arias, Glas, Mirco Bergamasco, Mauro Bergamasco; Skrela, Pichot; Roncero, Blin, Marconnet; Auradou, James; Rabadan, Sowerby, Jechoux.
Replacements: Castola, Lemoine, Brouzet, Moni, Fillol, Quesada

Gloucester: Goodridge; Garvey, Fanolua, Paul, Simpson-Daniel; McRae, Gomarsall; Bezuidenhout, Azam, Vickery; Eustace, Brown; Boer, Hazell, Forrester.
Replacements: Fortey, Sigley, Powell, Buxton, Balding, Page, Mauger

Referee: A Rolland (Ireland)


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Gloucester coach Nigel Melville (Real only)


Interview: Gloucester prop Phil Vickery (Real only)



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