Premiership: Gloucester boost top-four hopes with bonus-point win over Northampton Saints

Planet Rugby

Gloucester produced a superb display to move up to fourth in the Premiership following a 34-19 triumph over Northampton Saints at Kingsholm.

The Cherry and Whites signalled their intent early on when Jack Singleton crossed the whitewash before a Tommy Freeman double took the Saints ahead.

Despite that setback, the hosts were controlling the forward exchanges with Val Rapava-Ruskin particularly outstanding. The prop was outstanding in all facets, helping to set up the position for Chris Harris and Santiago Carreras to touch down.

Gloucester built on that impressive first half by securing the bonus-point via Fraser Balmain before Carreras added a penalty to effectively seal the win.

James Ramm did get a late consolation for Northampton but Carreras added another three-pointer to round off a fine performance from George Skivington’s men.

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It was Gloucester who opened the scoring after 13 minutes when their captain Lewis Ludlow did well to gather Carreras’ pass over his head before off-loading for Jack Singleton to score.

Saints’ response was swift, however, as Fin Smith spotted a big overlap on the left and flung a long pass out for Tommy Freeman to go over, with Smith adding the conversion to level.

Four minutes later Freeman had his second when he crossed to his opposite wing to sprint clear off James Ramm’s pass and finished in the right-hand corner for an unconverted try.

It did not take long for the Cherry and Whites to regain the lead as Carreras weaved his way through a fractured Northampton defence before off-loading to give Chris Harris and easy finish, then adding the extras.

The fly-half then had a try for himself to extend the lead to 21-12, meeting minimal resistance on his way through after Morgan had picked up and run off the back of a scrum.

Smith missed a penalty for Northampton on the stroke of half-time and another good opportunity passed the visitors by when tighthead Paul Hill knocked on just a few metres from the line.

The second half proved to be a stop-start affair, partly caused by Saints repeatedly being penalised, which eventually led to Ludlam being sin-binned with an hour played.

Almost immediately Gloucester had their bonus point when Fraser Balmain was helped over the line by a couple of his team-mates after the initial rolling maul had been repelled.

The hosts were in full control and it was effectively game over when Carreras kicked a penalty, even though the Cherry and Whites finished with 14 men after Ruan Ackermann’s yellow card.

In his absence, Saints were able to pull a try back when Mitchell’s deft pass sent Ramm clear to score under the posts, but it was fitting that Carreras had the final say for Gloucester with a late penalty.

London Irish claim second win of the season

Paddy Jackson’s game-changing try helped London Irish to their second Premiership win of the season as they beat Newcastle Falcons 39-17 at Gtech Community Stadium.

James Stokes opened the scoring, with Mateo Carreras striking back just minutes later for the visitors, but two Jackson penalties gave Irish the lead at the break.

After half-time, a Brett Connon penalty and Guy Pepper try put Falcons in front, but Jackson and Lucio Cinti scored to restore Irish’s lead.

With 10 minutes remaining, Adam Coleman powered over from close range to wrap up the win before Cinti scored his second try of the afternoon.

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