Cherry and Whites impress but miss try-bonus point
Gloucester topple top team
Gloucester 30 Saracens 24
Friday, 22 February 2019, 1945hrs

For the second time in a week the Cherry and Whites defeated the Premiership league leaders. Last week Exeter were beaten whilst this time round it was Saracens who left Kingsholm with just a losing bonus-point.
Sadly once again Gloucester failed to close the game out in the dying minutes and this week Saracens scored two late tries to narrow the deficit in a match in which the visitors were definitely second best for long periods as the final score flattered them.

Just as Exeter were missing international stars, so were Saracens but such is their strength in depth they are still difficult teams to beat.
Gloucester took the game to Saracens from the start and made a positive opening by nearly scoring in the opening minute as Tom Marshall went close to scoring in the corner.
They kept up the pressure and although Billy Twelvetrees missed an early penalty attempt he made amends shortly after for the opening score before Alex Lozowski also missed his first kick at goal.
Eventually a period of sustained Gloucester pressure on the visitors line was rewarded when Ben Morgan touched down the ball against the base of the post for the first try. Twelvetrees added the extras and a penalty to extend the lead only for Lozowski to do the same.
The hosts were playing all the rugby as the impressive Jaco Kriel went close but Saracens committed a host of offences on their line before Twelvetrees slotted his third penalty to take the score at half time to 16-3 with Gloucester firmly in control.
Crucially although Gloucester made a poor start to the second-half they were soon back in charge and laid seige to the Saracens line but were held up several times on the line.
It was more of the same from Gloucester and eventually the visitors' defence cracked and Ed Slater crashed over from close range as Twelvetrees made the score 23-3.
Sarcens hit back as a kick to the corner resulted in flanker Michael Rhodes forcing his way over from the resultant line out for a converted try. 23-10.
However the Gloucester forwards were in no mood to collapse as has been the case all to often in former seasons, as the replacements took to the field and hammered away at the visitors line before Ben Morgan forced his way over from close range for his second try and the third converted try. 30-10.
With the result no longer in doubt and time fast running out with only a couple of minutes remaining Gloucester seemed to switch off and lack concentration and were made immediately to pay as full back Matt Gallagher scored wide out to narrow the gap. 30-17.
Saracens' restart went deep into Gloucester territory and instead of a kick into touch the hosts elected to try and go for a fourth try but lost the possession allowing the visitors in for back row Jackson Wray to get a simple converted try that gave them a losing bonus-point they hardly expected and an ultimate score-line that did not do the Cherry and Whites justice.
A frustrating finish for the vocal Kingsholm crowd but a welcome win for the Cherry and Whites who should not forget that a rugby match is for a full eighty minutes until the final whistle goes!
A third Friday night fixture, this time a tough local derby at Bristol, is a potential banana skin waiting and Gloucester cannot afford any lapses if they are to succeed and build momentum now that the injury worries have eased.
T.H. 23/2/2019


15.Jason Woodward; 14. Tom Marshall, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Ollie Thorley;
10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Willi Heinz (capt);
1.Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Jaco Kriel, 8. Ben Morgan


16. James Hanson. 17. Paddy McAllister, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Jake Polledri, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Matt Banahan

Unavailable for selection:

Ruan Dreyer, Lloyd Evans, Todd Gleave, Tom Hudson, Val Rapava Ruskin, Charlie Sharples

Att: 13,633
Tries: Morgan (2), Slater
Con: Twelvetrees (3)
Pen: Twelvetrees (3)

Half-time: 16-3


Referee: J.P.Doyle

GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm - Premiership Home Record - 1987- 2019

GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm - Premiership Attendances - 1996 -2019

GLOUCESTER Matches - Premiership Playing Record v Saracens

GLOUCESTER Matches - Premiership Match Reports v Saracens