Planet Rugby

Saracens hold out Gloucester

02nd December 2012 16:46

Share:

Charlie Hodgson kicking from hand for Saracens

23 points: Charlie Hodgson

Saracens moved back up to second in the Aviva Premiership standings after they overcame Gloucester 28-23 in an absorbing clash in Watford on Sunday.

The opening exchanges of the game were a fractious affair as both sides struggled to create any impetus to implement attacking chances.

Billy Twelvetrees and Charlie Hodgson, returning from an injury lay-off, exchanged two penalties apiece as referee Sean Davey was quick to punish any ruck infringements.

As the Cherry and Whites were imposing themselves on the Saracens try-line, loosehead prop Dan Murphy showed a quick turn of pace to charge down a misguided Hodgson kicked before collecting to score. Twelvetrees' conversion put Gloucster into a 13-6 lead.

Just minutes after his try-scoring exploits, Murphy was sin-binned for not releasing in the tackle. Hodgson made the most of the numerical advantage with a further two penalties bringing the London side to within a point at half-time.

Hodgson landed a penalty early in the second half to give his side the lead for the first time in the game.

Gloucester immediately struck back when a bout of impressive multi-phase attacks enabled Akapusi Qera to cross for a converted try and reclaim the lead.

In a similar vein to the first half, Gloucester's try was preceded by a yellow card, the guilty party on this occasion being Tongan number eight Sione Kalamafoni.

Gloucester's lack of discipline was being punished by the metronomic boot of Hodgson as he continued his 100 per cent kicking record reducing the arrears to 20-18.

Replacement scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth raced to the line to score after a fine display of counter-attacking play by the hosts' backline.

Tweletrees and Hodgson traded penalties to leave the score finely posed at 28-23 with 10 minutes remaining.

As the Cherry and Whites bombarded the Saracens line, Wigglesworth was the third player to be yellow-carded, but the hosts bravely held on to record a vital win over their top-of-the-table rivals.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Try: Wigglesworth
Con: Hodgson
Pen: Hodgson 7

For Gloucester:
Tries: Murphy, Qera
Con: Twelvetrees 2
Pen: Twelvetrees 3
Yellow cards: Murphy (32 mins), Kalamafoni (50 mins)

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 David Strettle, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 James Short, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 George Kruis, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 John Smit, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Alistair Hargreaves, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Kameli Ratuvou.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Tim Molenaar, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 Martyn Thomas, 10 Billy Twelvetrees, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Jim Hamilton (c), 4 Will James, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Shane Monahan.

Referee: Sean Davey
Assistant referees: Stuart Terheege, Kevin Stewart
Television match official: Graham Hughes
Timekeeper: Roy Marfleet
Assessor: Paul Bridgman

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs Bayonne18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00