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Gloucester scratch 14-year itch with away win at Saracens

By PA
PA

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Gloucester held on for their first away win at Saracens since November 2008 after Alex Lozowski missed a touchline conversion with two minutes remaining for the hosts.

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The Cherry and Whites had failed to win in 13 attempt here since their last victory but they deserved their 25-24 success after overcoming the concession of 14 points during a first-half period when they also lost two players to the sin-bin.

Fraser Balmain, Jack Singleton and Lewis Ludlow all crossed for Gloucester tries with Adam Hastings adding two penalties and two conversions for the visitors, who were marginally the better side throughout.

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Saracens outscored their opponents in terms of tries, touching down four times through Dom Morris, Rotimi Segun, Theo McFarland and Alex Lewington. However, while Lozowski added the extras for two of those he also missed a simple conversion – prior to his late effort which went wide – which ultimately proved costly.

The first 15 minutes were scoreless as both sides favoured the aerial route to make progress without having much success before Gloucester opened the scoring.

They turned down two kickable penalties in favour of driving line-outs and from the second they were rewarded when Balmain secured the touchdown.

Gloucester were buoyed to have picked up the opening score but their elation turned sour by conceding a try and losing two players to the sin-bin within a minute.

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First Santiago Carreras was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on before Morris crashed over with visiting captain Ludlow then sin-binned for coming in at the side in an attempt to prevent the score.

Gloucester had little chance of containing their opponents with 13 men and it came as no surprise when Segun took advantage of the opening spaces to dart past two defenders for Saracens’ second try – both of which were converted by Lozowski.

Carreras returned in time to see his side respond straight from the restart. Maro Itoje failed to gather and the ball ran loose for Jordy Reid to burst away and send former Saracen Singleton over.

Gloucester were once again impressing with their driving maul and in an attempt to stop one of them, Mako Vunipola was yellow carded for collapsing, but Saracens managed to hold on for a 14-12 interval lead.

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The visitors could not capitalise on Vunipola’s absence but following the prop’s return, Hastings regained the lead for his side with a straightforward penalty.

McFarland then replaced Tim Swinson for Saracens and the Samoan made an immediate impact by charging down Charlie Chapman’s clearance to put his team back in front.

Lozowski surprisingly missed a straightforward conversion but the home side still held a 19-15 lead going into the final quarter.

However, with eight minutes remaining, Gloucester scored the decisive try when Ludlow finished off another line-out drive.

Hastings converted and added a penalty before a splendid solo effort by replacement Lewington gave Lozowski the chance to snatch victory for Saracens but his kick was just off-target.

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