Planet Rugby

Saracens dominate 14-man Gloucester

15th September 2013 16:00

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Nick Wood Gloucester is shown red card first minute by referee Wayne Barnes v Saracens

Game changer: Nick Wood is shown a red card in the 1st minute

Saracens went top of the Premiership standings thanks to a bonus-point 44-12 win over Gloucester at Allianz Park on Sunday.

The result became somewhat of a foregone conclusion after just 73 seconds, when Gloucester prop Nick Wood was shown a red card for stamping on the face of Sarries flank Jacques Burger.

The visitors put up a brave fight nevertheless and made the Saracens work very hard for their four-try bonus point.

In fact, the Cherry and Whites went into the interval 12-10 ahead thanks to four Freddie Burns' penalties. But the home side's numerical advantage eventually told as Sarries finished with five unanswered tries.

A mistake-ridden Sarries were poor in the first period with Joel Tomkins' try and Owen Farrell's three-pointer all they had to show for their efforts.

But with the away team tiring, the hosts pulled away after the break as further touchdowns from David Strettle (twice), Schalk Brits and Billy Vunipola, aided by the boot of Farrell, secured a comfortable win.

Nigel Davies' men showed plenty of solidarity to respond well to their initial setback as Burns' boot took them into the lead. Although Tomkins gained the advantage for Saracens with a fine try, the Gloucester fly-half reduced the arrears to one point after 28 minutes.

The respective fly-halves then traded three-pointers before Burns impressively restored their advantage just before the interval.

But the visitors couldn't maintain the intensity in the second half and a Farrell effort off the tee immediately put Sarries back ahead.

An excellent backs' move ended in Strettle touching down in the left corner before the Sarries pivot added another three-pointer.

Sione Kalamafoni was then sin-binned and it was no surprise to see a powerful driving maul resulting in Brits going over as the lead was extended further.

Mark McCall's side pressed for the bonus-point and it eventually came through the gargantuan Vunipola.

The last word also went to Saracens as Strettle hacked through and re-gathered to make it 10 points out of a possible 10.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Tomkins, Strettle 2, Brits, B. Vunipola
Cons: Farrell 4, Spencer
Pens: Farrell 3

For Gloucester:
Pens: Burns 4
Yellow card: Kalamafoni (56 mins - pulling maul down)
Red card: Nick Wood (1 min - stamping)

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 David Strettle; 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Billy Vunipola, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Jamie George, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 James Johnston, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Ben Ransom.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Matt Kvesic, 5 Lua Lokotui, 4 Tom Savage (capt), 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Mike Tindall, 23 Martyn Thomas.

Venue: Allianz Park
Referee: Wayne Barnes

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