Saracens - Gloucester comeback sinks Sarries

Nov 05, 2016

Gloucester comeback sinks Sarries

Saracens were left to rue a poor second half performance as they went down to a 36-32 defeat away to Gloucester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Kingsholm earlier today.

Despite leading 25-5 at the break the youthful Saracens couldn’t find any answer to a stunning Cherry and White feedback in the second half where the hosts crossed for four of their five tries on the day. Wing David Halaifonua was the match winner, crossing for his second of the afternoon in the 79th minute to seal the win.

Sarries were in red-hot form during the first half, with Tom Griffiths crossing for a brace of tries on his return to his hometown club and Ben Spencer scoring a well-taken individual try just before half-time.

The hosts, who scored a push over try in the first half via hooker Joe Mullis were much improved in the second forty as Man of the Match Dan Thomas ignited the fightback for Gloucester with a try early into the second half. There were further scores from wing Halaifonua and centre Henry Purdy before Saracens’ fly-half Tom Whiteley scuttled over for a try that his committed performance warranted.

The momentum was with the hosts, and after they were awarded a penalty try from a strong driving maul Saracens were left with 14-men after skipper Kelly Brown was yellow carded on 67 minutes for the penalty try offence.

Sarries just couldn’t stem the tide, and the youthful side defended manfully in the closing stages as Gloucester cranked up the pressure. Eventually the levee broke and Halaifonua bulldozed his way over in the dying seconds to secure the win.

Saracens come away from Kingsholm with two bonus points but will be linking their wounds after humbling second half performance.

Saracens academy coach, Ian Vass: "There's a few lessons for us to learn, that's for sure but this is a young side and they'll be better for this experience in the long run.  Gloucester played very well in the second half - credit to them for how they got back into the game and they finished it off - but we're disappointed to lose that game. 

Vass added: "We've got two losing bonus points away from home and a game at Allianz Park against Newcastle to look forward to. It's an important competition for players to put their hands up and young players to gain some experience, so we'll dust ourselves down and look forward to Monday to prepare for the Falcons."


15 Andrew Fenby; 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Tom Griffiths, 11 Matt Gallagher (George Perkins 29’ {Nathan Earle 59’}); 10 Tom Whiteley, 9 Ben Spencer (Henry Taylor 40’); 1 Richard Barrington (Hayden Thompson-Stringer 71’), 2 Scott Spurling (Jared Saunders 55’), 3 Vincent Koch, 4 Mark Flanagan, 5 Nick Isiekwe,; 6 Joel Conlon (Jack Nay 65’), 7 Kelly Brown (c), 8 Samu Vunisa (Ben Earl 51’)

Tries: Tom Griffiths x2, Ben Spencer, Tom Whiteley

Conversions: Tom Whiteley (2/2), Ben Spencer (1/2)

Penalties: Ben Spencer x2

Attendance: 11,660

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