Cherry and Whites beat Champions
Shock win for Gloucester
Gloucester 31 Saracens 23
Friday, 17 February, 2017. 1945hrs
What a difference a week makes!
I know a week is a long time in politics but a week ago the Cherry and Whites failed to turn up at Welford Road and were well and truly beaten by Leicester.
This week Gloucester deservedly beat European and Premiership Champions Saracens at Kingsholm in one of their best performances of what has been at best a mediocre season.
Why Gloucester cannot produce such results on a regular basis remains a mystery to all the frustrated fans and followers alike.
The first quarter of the match were like a training exercise for Saracens who went through their drills and moves and competently scored the first try of the game through Schalk Brits and Gloucester's future looked ominous.
However Gloucester improved with more territory and possession and were able to put sufficient pressure on the visitors to force the unaccustomed occasional errors and although the hosts built up a ten point lead there was always the nagging thoughts of how Gloucester have managed to surrender in the final minutes.
Billy Burns and Alex Lozowski kept the score moving with penalty kicks as David Halaifonua went close to scoring before Gloucester pressure eventually gained a good try from Tom Marshall, Burns conversion levelled the score but a further Saracens penalty edged them in front. 10-13
Halaifonua was held up on the line before the boot of Burns edged Gloucester into a half-time lead. 16-13.
Fortunately Gloucester got the first score of the second half when Jeremy Thrush picked up a loose ball to score and Burns added an easy conversion for 23-13.
Lozowski narrowed the gap as Saracens upped their efforts as Gloucester were forced to defend the increasing pressure and lost Burns after a lengthy stoppage and also Paul Doran-Jones was yellow-carded before Saracens drove over for Will Fraser to score and the conversion levelled the score. 23-23.
Gloucester then immediately lost replacement Motu Matu'u to a head injury as soon as he came on courtesy of good refereeing by Wayne Barnes.
However Gloucester forced their way back to the other end and when they were awarded a penalty Billy Twelvetrees duly slotted the crucial kick. 26-23.
A powerful charge from Ben Morgan took Gloucester downfield before Halaifonua was forced into touch in the corner. For once Gloucester won the resultant line-out and a mighty forward drive saw Richard Hibbard power his way over to claim the try.
Twelvetrees missed the conversion but the Cherry and Whites thoroughly deserved their hard fought victory which denied Saracens a single league point.
Can they play as well in the weeks to come?
Referee: Wayne Barnes
GLOUCESTER Matches - Match Reports - 2001-2017
GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm Premiership Record
GLOUCESTER Matches - Kingsholm Premiership Attendances
GLOUCESTER Matches - Premiership Record v Saracens
GLOUCESTER Matches - Premiership Match Reports v Saracens