May 05, 2018
9 try Saracens dispatch Gloucester
Bathed in brilliant sunshine the Allianz Park faithful witnessed a try packed encounter this afternoon as Saracens rounded off the regular season in style. The north Londoners put in a dominant second half performance as they completed a nine try win over Gloucester, dispatching the visitors by 62 points to 12.
It was the visitors Gloucester who started the game on foot however, slicing apart the Saracens defence as they crossed over for the opening score thanks to winger Tom Seakbrook within minutes of the referees opening whistle.
It was the start of a hectic period of play which saw four tries scored within the opening 20 minutes of play as both sides struggled to take real control of the tempo. Sarries levelled the try count after the ten minute mark; Schalk Brits making one of his trademark runs as he combined with Wigglesworth to take the ball to line, before Sean Maitland dotted down in the corner. Farrell’s conversion hit the target taking the home side in to a narrow 7-5 lead early in the half.
In an end to end half, it didn’t take long for Gloucester to hit back with their second however. Fullback Jason Woodward showed his pace to break away down the touchline, neatly offloading to Halaifonua who headed for the try line.
From the restart the ball was straight back in the Gloucester 22 as Sarries bagged their second try thanks to Liam Williams who levelled the scores as he bundled through his defence to find the whitewash. Farrell’s conversion bounced off the uprights, leaving the teams tied at 12 points a piece midway through the half.
It was breathless stuff in north London and less than 5 minutes later Saracens looked to be in again as Alex Goode broke free from his defender before setting up Maitland for what appeared to be his second score. After consultation with the TMO however referee Craig Maxwell-Keys ruled there had been an obstruction in the build-up and chalked the score off, restoring the deadlock.
Farrell added a penalty kick on the half hour mark to take Saracens into a narrow 15-12 lead as the north Londoners bought a level of control to proceeding as the half moved in to its final stages. Sarries added a third score on the stroke of half time when Owen Farrell capitalised on an Alex Lozowski break to score. Farrell converted his score taking the men in black in at the break with a 22-12 lead.
Saracens picked up right where they had left it at the start of the second half, securing the bonus point almost immediately when Juan Figallo crashed over the whitewash after a feed from Brad Barritt.
With a vocal Allianz Park crowd behind them Saracens seemed to have hit their stride and added a fifth try courtesty of Maro Itoje who showed great awareness to stretched of himself and find the line. Sarries were in cruise control as they continued to torture the Gloucester defence. An impressive break from Jackson Wray put Saracens in a strong attacking position and with an overlap on the far side Saracens capitalised on their advantage to set up a long pass to Chris Wyles who added the sixth score. Farrell’s conversion hit the target from the touchline to give the Men in Black a 41-12 lead with half an hour left to play.
After the intensity of what had gone before the game now seemed to stagnant somewhat. Repeated scrum resets lead to a number of stoppages which disrupted the flow of the game, though Saracens did manage to add a seventh score just after the 70th minute mark when the forward pack, who had been impressive all afternoon, drove forward once again and Maxwell-Keyes awarded the penalty try.
This was a dominant performance from Saracens across the board, sharp in attack and physical in defence the north Londoners were men on a mission. While the minutes wound down Saracens’ energy did not and the Men in Black broke the 50 points mark with a stunning solo effort from Ben Spencer with five minutes left to play. After being set up by Alex Goode Spencer made a searing run down field, out pacing his incoming defender before dotting down under the sticks. Spencer converted his try to extend the lead to 55-12.
As the crowd counted down the final seconds of the match there was still time for one final flurry from the home side as Jamie George broke down the touchline, setting up Ben Spencer for his second score and securing a 62-12 win for Saracens to the delight of the sold out home crowd.
15 Alex Goode, 14 Liam Williams( Wyles 45'), 13 Marcelo Bosch( Lozowski 34'), 12 Brad Barritt ©,11 Sean Maitland( Skelton 67'), 10 Owen Farrell( Spencer 58'), 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 1 Richard Barrington( M.Vunipola 52'),2 Schalk Brits( George 52'), 3 Juan Figallo( Koch 52'), 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Nick Isiekwe,6 Michael Rhodes, 7 Schalk Burger( Earl 3'), 8 Jackson Wray
16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Will Skelton ,20 Ben Earl, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Chris Wyles.
Scores Tries Maitland(11'),L.Williams(18'), Farrell (40'),Figallo (41'),Itoje (49'),Wyles 51'), Spencer ( 75'& 80'), Penalty try.
Conversions Farrell 4/6. Spencer 2/2
Penalties Farrell 1/2
15. Jason Woodward; 14. Tom Seabrook( Hudson 59'), 13. Henry Trinder( B.Burns 58'), 12. Andy Symons, 11. David Halaifonua; 10. Billy Twelvetrees, 9. Ben Vellacott( Braley 58'); 1. Paddy McAllister( Ruskin 51'), 2. Motu Matu’u (Hibbard 51')3. Fraser Balmain( Denman 58'); 4. Tom Savage(Morgan 51'), 5. Jeremy Thrush; 6. Ross Moriarty( Polledri 75'), 7. Lewis Ludlow (captain), 8. Freddie Clarke
16. Richard Hibbard, 17. Val Rapava Ruskin, 18. Gareth Denman, 19. Ben Morgan, 20. Jake Polledri. 21. Callum Braley, 22. Billy Burns, 23. Tom Hudson
Scores Tries Seabrook(2'), Halafonua (15').
Conversions Twelvetrees 1/2
Yellow card Thrush (68').