Hassell-Collins show helps Exiles sink Gloucester
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Ollie Hassell-Collins proved a one-man bonus-point, notching four tries as London Irish beat Gloucester.
The youngster crossed twice in the first 40 and sealed his hat-trick after the break, but the visitors made life difficult through scores from Charlie Chapman, Ollie Thorley and Louis Rees-Zammit.
But the 21-year-old grabbed his fourth as Irish held out for their third Premiership win on the spin.
Billy Twelvetrees opened the scoring from the kicking tee inside five minutes, but Irish soon responded when Hassell-Collins slid over in the corner.
And the young wing quickly doubled up, this time showing fine footwork to dance over and make it 10-3, a lead the hosts maintained heading into the break.
It was more of the same in the second half, as Hassell-Collins sealed his hat-trick, intercepting 60 metres out and duly taking it all the way to the house.
Gloucester cut the gap to seven when Chapman darted over, and to just two when Thorley finished wonderfully in the corner.
But Hassell-Collins eased nerves with a remarkable fourth, doing the honours after Irish set up a two-versus-one out wide.
In a game dominated by young flyers, Rees-Zammit added his name to the score-sheet to give the Cherry & Whites hope in the final 10 minutes, but the Exiles held on for the points.
For London Irish:
Tries: Hassell-Collins 4
Cons: Myler 2
Tries: Chapman, Thorley, Rees-Zammit
London Irish: 15 Ben Loader, 14 Matt Williams, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Albert Tuisue, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Matt Rogerson, 5 Franco van der Merwe (captain), 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Ollie Hoskins, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Bryce Campbell, 23 James Stokes
Gloucester: 15 Matt Banahan, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Charlie Chapman, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 6 Freddie Clarke, 5 Franco Mostert (captain), 4 Ed Slater, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Todd Gleave, 1 Josh Hohneck
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Val Rapava-Ruskin, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Ben Morgan, 20 Aaron Hinkley, 21 Stephen Varney, 22 Lloyd Evans, 23 Tom Seabrook
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe & Rob Warburton.
TMO: David Grashoff.
Match report by @premrugby