Cherry and Whites come from behind to win
Famous fight back
Gloucester 23 Saracens 17
Friday, 17 November, 2017. 1745hrs
Who would have thought it?
Outplayed and trailing at half-time by six points 9-3, the Cherry and Whites fought back after the interval to score twenty points to deservedly win the match in the final quarter with visiting European Champions Saracens having to settle for a solitary losing bonus-point.
It was most definitely a game of two halves, with the visitors controlling territory and possession in the first half but thanks to an Herculean defensive effort from Gloucester, Saracens were only able to establish a six point half-time lead. 9-3.
However despite conceding a suspect try, the second-half saw Gloucester build momentum and pressure to claim two tries and eventually a famous hard fought victory.
The first-half was one of relentless Saracens pressure in the hosts' half as Gloucester were quite unable to get into the visitors territory or get their hands on the ball and most were expecting more of the same in the second period.
When Sarries eventually did get a decidedly dubious try through Scott Brits, it was expected the floodgates would open but it was Gloucester who spiritedly seized the initiative to go on and win the match.
All Gloucester had to show in the first period was a solitary Billy Twelvetrees penalty as they seemed to spend the rest of the half with non-stop tackling practice and on reflection Saracens must reflect on their failure to score early tries and take chances during this time which ultimately cost them the game.
The second half saw the hosts at last get some possession and get into their opponents half before Twelvetrees added a second penalty to rouse the crowd before Saracens got their try from what appeared to be blocking and crossing, the hurried attempted drop-kick conversion seemed to confirm suspicions. 6-14.
A Gloucester team of recent previous seasons would have collapsed but this outfit did not buckle and were back in opposition territory for Twelvetrees to narrow the gap with his third penalty. 9-14.
Gloucester then final breached the seemingly impregnable Saracens' defence with a stunning score as replacement Ben Vellacott and Andy Symons made the telling breaks before a spot-on cross-kick, courtesy of Billy Burns, enabled Olly Thorley to score in the corner. Twelvetrees converted from the touchline. 16-14 and Kingsholm was in full voice.
For once Saracens were forced into desperate defence before a sustained spell of Gloucester pressure ended with Tom Hudson scoring near the posts for Twelvetrees to add the extras. 23-14.
Saracens almost hit back immediately but were denied a try by the TMO as Gloucester's tenacious tackling was applauded by the vociferous Kingsholm crowd each and every time a hit was put in. Time began to run out for the visitors and in the final minutes at the end of the match, with no chance of scoring two tries for victory, they were obliged to settle for kicking a penalty to secure a losing bonus-point.
A truly good win for Gloucester which will do much to inspire confidence and lift spirits after enduring a continuing lengthy injury list before the daunting task of the long trip North to visit much improved Newcastle.
15. Tom Hudson, 14. Ollie Thorley, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Andy Symons, 11. Henry Trinder;
10. Billy Burns, 9. Willi Heinz (capt);
1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Ed Slater; 6. Freddie Clarke, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ruan Ackermann
16. James Hanson, 17. Val Rapava Ruskin, 18. Gareth Denman, 19. Jeremy Thrush, 20. Jake Polledri,
21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Mark Atkinson, 23. Henry Purdy
Unavailable for Selection
Fraser Balmain, Tom Denton, Mariano Galarza, David Halaifonua, Tom Marshall, Motu Matu'u, Ben Morgan, Ross Moriarty, Matt Scott, Charlie Sharples, Owen Williams, Jason Woodward
Referee: Karl Dickson
Tries: Thorley, Hudson
Con: Twelvetrees (2)
Pen: Twelvetrees (3)
GLOUCESTER Matches - Match Reports - 2001-2017
GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm Premiership Home Record
GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm Premiership Attendances
GLOUCESTER Matches - Premiership Record v Saracens
GLOUCESTER Matches - Match Reports v Saracens