Barton bests Matkava in battle of fly-halves

Barton bests Matkava in battle of fly-halves

Gloucester Rugby fly-half George Barton was the difference-maker for the Gallagher Premiership side as they defeated Black Lion 15-10 in the EPCR Challenge Cup at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium on Saturday.

The 23-year-old was successful with five penalties, scoring all of Gloucester Rugby’s points, in a war of attrition against the EPCR competition debutants. 

In a battle of the fly-halves, Black Lion’s Luka Matkava notched all 10 of the Georgian side's points - scoring the only try of the contest in addition to a penalty and a conversion from the tee. 

Gloucester Rugby got on the scoreboard first as Barton kicked a pair of penalties in the 12th and 18th minutes. 

Matkava then created his own scoring opportunity with a wistful dummy to break the Gloucester line and dot down under the posts. The fly-half added the extras himself as Black Lion took the lead for the first time. 

The advantage lasted seven minutes, however, as Barton added his third penalty of the first half in the 29th minute.  

Barton continued to showcase his kicking prowess in the second half as he added his fourth and fifth penalties. Matkava responded with a penalty of his own, but the hosts fell five points short of victory. 

Black Lion continue their inaugural EPCR campaign with a trip to Scarlets next Friday, while Gloucester Rugby welcome three-time winners ASM Clermont Auvergne to Kingsholm the same night. 

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