May 11, 2018 / 9:12 PM / 2 months ago

Cardiff storm back to beat Gloucester in Challenge Cup Final

(Reuters) - Gareth Anscombe’s late penalty sealed a superb comeback for Cardiff Blues as they came from 14 points down to beat Gloucester 31-30 in a thrilling European Challenge Cup final on Friday.

Rugby Union - European Challenge Cup Final - Cardiff Blues v Gloucester Rugby - San Mames, Bilbao, Spain - May 11, 2018 Cardiff Blues' Gareth Anscombe (L) celebrates with Josh Turnbull and Blaine Scully after the match REUTERS/Vincent West

Gloucester dominated the first half at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, with superb tries from Henry Trinder and Mark Atkinson helping them to a 20-6 lead at the break.

Rugby Union - European Challenge Cup Final - Cardiff Blues v Gloucester Rugby - San Mames, Bilbao, Spain - May 11, 2018 Cardiff Blues' Gareth Anscombe is tackled by Gloucester Rugby's Billy Twelvetrees REUTERS/Vincent West

Cardiff, however, battled back, with scrumhalf Tomos Williams winning a frenetic chase to steal in under the posts early in the second half.

A Garyn Smith try briefly gave Cardiff the lead, but Gloucester bullied their way over the line for a pushover try shortly afterwards to go 27-23 in front and a Billy Twelvetrees penalty extended their lead to seven.

Yet Blaine Scully struck back for Cardiff with a late try, and Anscombe, who missed a difficult conversion, made no mistake with a penalty in the dying moments to complete a remarkable comeback.

Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Toby Davis

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