EPCR Challenge Cup – Santiago Socino Scored Rapid Brace As Gloucester Rugby Defeated ASM Clermont Auvergne


Hooker Santiago Socino scored two tries in five minutes as Gloucester Rugby defeated ASM Clermont Auvergne 28-17 for their second EPCR Challenge Cup win of the season.

ASM Clermont Auvergne took a 13th-minute lead in the Pool 3 clash when an infringement allowed fly-half Jules Plisson a simple penalty-kicking opportunity.

Just three minutes later Gloucester Rugby scored the opening try after the ball was played to right winger Jonny May who powered through and grounded the ball while being tackled. A difficult conversion for fly-half Santiago Carreras was sent inches wide as it clipped the post.

The visitors responded immediately as a powerful run by full-back Alex Newsome gained ground before his pass was intercepted by left winger Ollie Thorley. However, the Gloucester Rugby winger released the ball into the path of scrum-half Baptiste Jauneau, converted by fly-half Jules Plisson.

A powerful 31st minute Freddie Clarke drive from a line-out pulled the hosts close to the try-line and Socino grounded the ball, converted by fly-half Santiago Carreras.

Six minutes later Gloucester Rugby kicked to the corner again and used a driving maul to their advantage with Socino diving through a gap to score his second converted try of the evening.

With an hour gone ASM Clermont Auvergne pulled themselves back into the match when a line-out resulted in a strong driving maul and blind-side flanker Pita-Gus Sowakula dotted the ball down, converted by replacement fly-half Anthony Belleau.

However, Gloucester Rugby kept the scoreboard ticking over as Carreras scored his third penalty of the game on 68 minutes to finish the game 28-17.

Gloucester Rugby: Tries: Jonny May, Santiago Socino (2). Conversions: Santiago Carreras (2). Penalties: Santiago Carreras (3).
ASM Clermont Auvergne: Tries: Baptiste Jauneau, Pita-Gus Sowakula. Conversions: Jules Plisson, Anthony Belleau. Penalty: Jules Plisson.

Gloucester Rugby: 15 Louis Rees-Zammit, 14 Jonny May, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Max Llewellyn, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Steve Varney, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 6 Jack Clement, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Santiago Socino, 1 Harry Elrington. Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 18 Kirill Gotovtsev, 19 Cameron Jordan, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Seb Atkinson, 23 Lloyd Evans.
ASM Clermont Auvergne: 15 Alex Newsome, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Pierre Fouyssac, 12 Léon Darricarrere, 11 Thomas Roziere, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Baptiste Jauneau, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pita-Gus Sowakula, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Thibault Lanen, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Yohan Beheregaray, 1 Daniel Bibi Biziwu. Replacements: 16 Etienne Fourcade, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Henzo Kiteau, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Killian Tixeront, 21 Sebastien Bezy, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 George Moala.