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Gloucester's second-half surge stuns leaders Saracens

Gloucester’s Ollie Thorley scores a try against Saracens

A run of 17 unanswered second-half points saw Gloucester hand Saracens only their second defeat of the season with a 23-17 Premiership win at Kingsholm.

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Sarries went into Friday’s clash without the services of Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje, both on international duty with England.

Alex Lozowski and George Kruis, both dropped by England coach Eddie Jones, featured in Mark McCall’s XV – but the leaders still came unstuck, much to the delight of a vociferous home crowd.

Billy Twelvetrees kicked 13 of Gloucester’s points while Ollie Thorley and Tom Hudson crossed, moving them at least temporarily up to third in the table.

 

Twelvetrees and Lozowski traded early penalties, with the boot of the latter putting Saracens 9-3 to the good at the interval.

The gap was narrowed by a second Twelvetrees penalty, however, when Schalk Brits went over for Sarries after a break from Vincent Koch the writing appeared to be on the wall.

Lozowski missed the drop-goal conversion, showing the presence of mind to take it quickly before the officials could look into a possible obstruction in the build-up.

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But Gloucester responded magnificently, with Ben Vellacott’s break moving them inside Sarries’ 22 before Billy Burns found Thorley with a superb chip kick to the corner.

That was soon followed by Hudson marking his first Premiership start with a try, Twelvetrees converting to make it a nine-point gap that ultimately proved insurmountable.

https://twitter.com/gloucesterrugby/status/931645324770230272

 

Ben Spencer had a try ruled out as he was adjudged to have been short of the line by the TMO and Lozowski skewed a penalty wide with five minutes left.

Sarries did at least secure the consolation of a losing bonus point, Spencer knocking over a three-pointer, but that was little more than a footnote on a night belonging to Gloucester.

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Shaylen 7 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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