Feb 17, 2017
Errors cost Saracens at Kingsholm
A late push-over try from Gloucester hooker Richard Hibbard saw Saracens slip to their second successive defeat as Cherry & Whites ran out 31-23 winners at Kingsholm.
In a tense and nervy contest Saracens were undone by a late Billy Twelvetrees penalty goal and a 76th minute score from hooker Hibbard.
With the score 26-23 to Gloucester, a push-over try from the hosts punished some poor Sarries tackling from the restart that gifted Gloucester field position after a rampaging Ben Morgan break from his own half. Saracens fought back to 23-23 after the break but the hosts ran out deserved winners with Twelvetrees’ and Hibbard’s late salvos.
The opening half was an entertaining forty minutes with only three points separating the sides at the break. Both teams headed into the game on the back of poor results and there was plenty of endeavour and industry in the opening exchanges. After Gloucester opened the scoring via a Billy Burns penalty it was Saracens who crossed for the games first try. Schalk Brits danced over to score, becoming the second highest forward try scorer in the club’s history over taking Richard Hill to sit behind former No8, Tony Diprose on the charts. Brits was the scorer but it was a team try to remember, with Sarries experienced hooker collecting a Marcelo Bosch pass after 13 phases of controlled rugby.
Sarries added to their tally with a 45-metre penalty from Marcelo Bosch, only to concede a try to Gloucester when Man of the Match Tom Marshall burrowed over to score.
Gloucester went close again in the first half, only for a stunning try saving effort from Schalk Burger and Richard Wigglesworth to keep Gloucester flyer David Halaifonua off the score sheet.
Lozowski added another penalty, only for his opposite number Billy Burns to send over two penalty goals before the break.
Sarries were forced into a change at the half-time interval with Schalk Burger being withdrawn with a rib injury. Early into the half Gloucester extended their lead, but it wasn’t without controversy. Lock forward Jeremy Thrush swooped onto a loose ball at the back of a Saracens ruck and raced away to score but in the build-up to the try a Will Fraser pass was clearly knocked down by Gloucester scrumhalf Willi Heinz. Referee Wayne Barnes refused to check the try despite the Saracens protestations.
Sarries dusted themselves down and looked for a way back into a game that was quickly slipping from their grasp. They eventually found one via a Will Fraser try on the back of a strong driving maul after Gloucester replacement prop Paul Doran-Jones had seen yellow for a cynical piece of work at the maul. Lozowski levelled the scores with the conversion.
Sarries had their chances to edge in front, with an Alex Lozowski drop-goal drifting wide but it was Gloucester who would have the final say with Twelvetrees and more importantly, Hibbard’s late scores.
Saracens: 15 Sean Maitland (Gallagher 50), 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Mike Ellery, 10 Alex Lozowski (Malins 77), 9 Richard Wigglesworth (Spencer 71); 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Schalk Burger (Brown 41), 6 Will Fraser, 5 Jim Hamilton (Flanagan 77), 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Juan Figallo (Du Plessis (71), 2 Schalk Brits (Saunders 77), 1 Mako Vunipola (Barrington 71):
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Mark Flanagan, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Max Malins, 23 Matt Gallagher.
Scores Tries Brits(10); Frazer(61):
Cons Lozowski x2:
Penalties Lozowski x2; Bosch
Gloucester: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Charlie Sharples (Hook 33-39), 13 Matt Scott, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 David Halaifonua, 10 Billy Burns (Hook 60), 9 Willi Heinz (c), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Ross Moriarty (Ludlow 72), 5 Jeremy Thrush (Galarza (61), 4 Tom Savage, 3 Salesi Ma’afu (Doran-Jones 3), 2 Richard Hibbard (Matu'u 64-67), 1 Josh Hohneck (Thomas 64):
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Lewis Ludlow, 21 Callum Braley, 22 James Hook, 23 Henry Trinder
Tries Marshall(18);Thrush(49); Hibbard (75):
Cons Burns X 2:
Penalties Burns x3; Twelvetrees:
Yellow card Doran-Jones (60)
Man of the Match: Tom Marshall