Cherry and Whites miss scoring chances again
Gloucester edged out
Gloucester 15 Saracens 17
Friday, October 23, 2015 - 1745hrs

It is often said that ‘Some things never change’ and I for one could not help but think back to last season when all too often Gloucester were let down by mistakes and their contiued inability to make the most of their chances.
It was more of the same again against Saracens at Kingsholm.

Last season James Hook kicked a late penalty to earn the victory for the Cherry and Whites this time round it was Saracens who made the hosts pay when Owen Farrell slotted a simple penalty kick to put them back in the lead with just four minutes remaining.
There was little to choose between the two sides and perhaps a draw would have been a fairer result but streetwise Saracens had managed to score the only try of the match whilst Gloucester had to be content with five penalties from Billy Twelvetrees which seemed scant consolation. Charlie Sharples and Jonny May looked more enterprising than anyone else but all too often the hosts’ kicking out of hand tactic was very much over done and failed to trouble the visitor’s well organised defence.
Too much boot early on from both sides gained some territory but the aerial bombardment handed possession back to the opposition before any points were scored. However ruthless Saracens seized their chance when having been awarded a debatable line-out, following what looked very much like a mis-judgment mistakenly prompted by the former touchline markings as used in the Rugby World Cup matches, to shred the Gloucester mid-field as the hosts’ cover missed vital tackles allowing winger Mike Ellery to cross in the corner after 15 minutes.
Charlie Hodgson missed the conversion but did land a penalty to increase the lead before a period of Gloucester pack pressure saw them drive over but no try was forthcoming as they were penalised before eventually Sarries were punished as Twelvetrees kicked his first penalty.
He added a second to narrow the gap to three points but disappointingly the visitors had the last word of the half when Farrell kicked a crucial penalty. 11-6.
The home side made a strong start to the second half but missed a golden scoring opportunity when Twelvetrees ignored Jonny May outside and was duly tackled. Gloucester hammered away on the Sarries line but lacked the killer blow and had to settle for another successful penalty kick.

Farrell was lectured by referee Matt Carley after a deliberate off-side offence and Gloucester were in front for the first time thanks to another Twelvetrees penalty.
However Farrell strangely missed a kick at goal following a penalty awarded at the scrum before it became Gloucester’s turn to win a penalty from the scrum and again Twelvetrees made no mistake with a huge kick from close to the half-way to edge them in front. 14-13.
From the re-start, just as we all feared, Gloucester infringed and Farrell made them pay with the simple kick to effectively seal the match as Sarries played out the final three minutes.
A bitter pill for the home side to swallow but once again their inability to take their chances and missed tackles cost the Cherry and Whites dear.
Gloucester had sufficient possession and territory to have won the match. Whilst still not dominant, the pack is now competitive with the scrum much improved over previous seasons but frustratingly the talent behind is also still as inconsistent as ever.
The Cherry and Whites kicked their penalties but realistically rarely looked like scoring a try.
What did the Headmaster say on my old School Report?
Must do better!
T.H. 24/10/2015
Pricey's Postscript
One point gained but three points squandered. That game was lost by Gloucester who had the rump of possession throughout and plenty of opportunities to score tries. Like the game, those opportunities were squandered. Saracens in contrast took their chances or to be more precise, their chance; a try in the first half on one of their very few visits inside Gloucester’s 22.

Early days, yes but I saw very little last night to convince me that this season will be another year of building a squad.
J.G.P. 24.10.2015
More From Mike

Well, after a prelonged pre-season, all returned to normality at Kingsholm on Friday night, and I mean normality. Glos surrendered the bulk of possession to a Sarries side who played very little rugby and lived off the mistakes of Gloucester.

I suppose many would settle for 5 points from 2 games, but Glos should not be losing games at home to a mediocre Sarries side. There were to many mistakes and basic errors, many unforced. The possession which Glos had was wasted, twice Glos were camped on the Sarries try line only to concede possession and come away empty handed.
I understand that Mr Thrush has concluded his antipodean commitments so should be arriving shortly, however the bad news is Henry Trinder will not be seen until at least Christmas and Mr Marshall not until the New Year. 
We can only live in hope that the available players remain injury free.

A better performance is needed for the forthcoming visit of Worcester next Saturday.

Mike 

Gloucester
Charlie Sharples;
David Halaifonua, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Bill Meakes, Jonny May;
James Hook, Willi Heinz;
Paddy McAllister, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa;
Tom Savage, Sione Kalamafoni;
Lewis Ludlow, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan

Replacements:

Tom Lindsay, Yann Thomas, Paul Doran-Jones, Elliott Stooke, Jacob Rowan,
Callum Braley, Steve McColl, Rob Cook

Pen: Twelvetrees (5)

Half-Time: 6-11


Referee - Matt Carney

Attendance - 12,749

Gloucester Matches - Match Reports - 2001-2015

Gloucester Matches - Premiership - Kingsholm Record

Gloucester Matches -
Premiership - Kingsholm Attendances

Gloucester Matches - Premiership Record v Saracens

Gloucester Matches - Match Reports v Saracens