Sep 12, 2016
Report: Storm defeated in Gloucester
Saracens Storm were narrowly beaten in their first Aviva A League clash of the season as they fell to a 22-19 defeat away to Gloucester United at Kingsholm Stadium.
Tries from Samu Vunisa, skipper Tim Streather and a second half effort from wing George Perkins wasn't enough on the night as the Cherry and Whites edged a tight contest.
Gloucester United raced into an early lead after just three minutes play, when hooker Greg Jackson scored for the home side on the back of strong driving maul.
The Storm responded quickly, Samu Vunisa showing all of his strength and bulk to power over from close range after the Storm had made quick progress into the United 22. Stand-in flyhalf Tom Whiteley landed the extras.
The Storm were enjoying a purple patch early on after Gloucester’s quick start and they didn’t have to wait much longer for their second of the evening. After openside flanker Ben Earl was held up over the line, skipper Tim Streather collected a fine disguised pass from Whiteley to score left of the posts with just seven minutes on the clock. Again Whiteley converted the score.
The Storm though struggled to negate Gloucester’s set-piece prowess and after Jack Nay was penalised deep in the Sarries half, the Cherry and Whites kicked for touch and from the resulting lineout, Jackson was on hand to score on the back of driving maul once again.
United extended their lead when David Halaifonua collected a well-executed cross field kick from the impressive Lloyd Evans, who also kicked a 32nd minute penalty before the break.
The Storm flew out of the traps in the second half, with George Perkins running in his side’s third try of the evening after halfback Henry Taylor caught the Gloucester defence flat footed with a cheeky quick tap penalty. Whiteley couldn’t convert from out.
The Storm then had to withstand a United barrage, with Mat Protheroe going close for the hosts and the ever-dangerous Lloyd Evans nearly sealing game only for a last gasp effort from Samu Vunisa to foil a certain try.
The Storm rallied, and after lock forward Nick Isiekwe found George Perkins out wide after a turnover deep in the visitors half, the England U20s flyer showed his electric pace to carry his side into opposition territory. From this platform the Storm looked to build the phases but conceded a penalty for holding on in 80th minute and the game was gone.
Next up for the Storm are the Exeter Braves at Allianz Park on Sunday September 18th.
Final Score: Gloucester United 22 Saracens Storm 19
15 Ali Crossdale (Neil De Kock 36mins); 14 Dom Morris (Segun 2mins), 13 Tim Streather (c) (Tom Griffiths 55mins), 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 George Perkins; 10 Tom Whiteley, 9 Henry Taylor; 1 Ralph Adams-Hale (Billy Walker 47mins), 2 Scott Spurling, 3 Titi Lamositele (Hayden Thompson-Stringer 61mins); 4 Mark Flanagan, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 6 Jack Nay (Anthony Maka 41min), 7 Ben Earl (Jared Saunders 49 mins), 8 Samu Vunisa.
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 18 Billy Walker, 19 Byron Hodge, 20 Anthony Maka, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Tom Griffiths, 23 Rotimi Segun
Tries: Samu Vunisa, Tim Streather, George Perkins
Conversions: Whiteley 2/3
Images: Martin Bennett/ Gloucester