Gloucester edge out Northampton Saints

Gloucester edged out Northampton Saints 27-24 at Kingholm in the Aviva Premiership on Satuday after leading 18-19 at half time.

This was the first home fixture for Gloucester since their demolition of Wasps
on Boxing Day, and they started in similar fashion here, getting a try in the
first five minutes.

Charlie Sharples eluded the Saints’ defence to dive over the try-line, and Burns
added the conversion for a perfect home start.

Northampton have had a mixed bag of results of late, but they too made light
work of Wasps recently winning by fifty points there, and it wasn’t long before
they were back in the contest as Ryan Lamb fired over a penalty for the visitors.

Burns responded for Gloucester as they looked to put pressure on the Northampton
defence once more, but both sides were holding firm approaching half time.

The teams then added a penalty apiece, before Ryan Lamb scored his third placed
kick of the contest before the interval.

That looked to be the final score of the half, but Gloucester had other ideas,
and went over for their second try of the game right on the half time whistle
– hooker Darren Dawidiuk bundling over to give the hosts a fairly healthy lead
at the break.

The Saints came out well on the restart however and reduced the gap from a Ryan
Lamb penalty.

Gloucester kept their lead in tact though from a Burns penalty, before the sides
traded penalties soon after.

The game was very nip and tuck going into the final quarter, and when Saints
went over for a try courtesy of Soane Tonga’uiha, victory was very much there
for the taking.

Stephen Myler added the conversion to leave a converted try between them.

Northampton were now on top in terms of possession, and completed a brilliant
comeback with ten minutes to play when George Pisi by-passed the Gloucester
rearguard, the teams were now level.

Gloucester, who had been fairly poor in the second half, weren’t to be denied
though, and when Burns landed a pressure penalty in the closing stages, the
Saints couldn’t find any more answers, as the home side ran out winners in a
remarkable game.

Final Score Gloucester 27 (18) Northampton 24 (9)


Scorers


Gloucester
Tries: Sharples, Dawidiuk
Penalties: Burns 5
Conversions: Burns


Northampton Saints
Tries: Tonga’uiha, Pisi
Penalties: Lamb 4
Conversions: Myler


Referee: JP Doyle (36th Premiership game)


Teams


Gloucester Rugby:


Jonny May; Charlie Sharples, Mike Tindall, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, James Simpson-Daniel; Freddie Burns, Rory Lawson; Nick Wood, Darren Dawidiuk, Rupert Harden; Will James, Alex Brown; Peter Buxton (capt), Akapusi Qera, Matt Cox


Replacements:Matias Cortese, Dan Murphy, Shaun Knight, Tom Savage, Rob Langley, Dave Lewis, Ryan Mills, Tim Molenaar


Northampton Saints :


Diggin; Elliott, Pisi, Downey, Artemyev; Lamb, Roberts; Tonga’uiha, Long, Mujati; Manoa, Day; Lawes, Clark (capt), Wilson.


Replacements: Haywood, Waller, Doran Jones, Sorenson, Nutley, Glynn, Myler, May.

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