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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle vs Sale15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821