Late penalty earns Saracens victory over Gloucester

Bill Meakes is tackled by Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell kicked a late penalty to earn Saracens a 15-17 Aviva Premiership Rugby victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm on Friday.

Moments earlier Billy Twelvetrees looked to have kicked the match winning penalty for Gloucester but Saracens earned a penalty at the restart and Farrell slotted the match winner.

Earlier in the match Gloucester captain Billy Twelvetrees missed the game’s first real opportunity as he saw a penalty sail wide of the posts in a quiet opening, though the game sprung firmly into life on 14 minutes.

Mike Ellery went over for the first score of the game and his third of the campaign already, Nick Tompkins’ break got everything started before Alex Goode fed it through to Ellery who went over.

The conversion wasn’t good enough to add to the score, but Charlie Hodgson added a further three soon after in a very impressive start by the visiting side.

Looking to bounce back after early disappointment, Gloucester were somehow held out as a powerful driving maul saw them knock on when a try looked inevitable, with not a lot going right for the hosts.

But approaching half-time they finally got themselves onto the board through Twelvetrees’ penalty, a feat he repeated as the clock wound down as the home side pulled right back into the game.

But a superb kick from Owen Farrell put the lead back up to five and Saracens went into half-time with a crucial advantage.

With the Kingsholm faithful roaring them on, Gloucester almost obliged as they headed towards the line, but prolongued pressure only produced a penalty, Twelvetrees kicking through to reduce the gap to just two points.

And for the first time of the night, Twelvetrees kicked through three more to take the lead.

Farrell retook the lead for his side with another perfect kick in a pulsating battle between the pair, with both sides taking it in turns to mount attacks.

With seven minutes remaining it again was the turn of the hosts, and Twelvetrees incredible kick from half-way put a one point gap back in favour of Gloucester as the Kingsholm faithful voiced their joy.

But it didn’t last long, as Farrell again sent through another kick, holding his nerve superbly to snatch back the advantage with just three minutes left on the board.

And despite both sides still throwing themselves forward in search of the killer try, it was Saracens who made it two wins from two as they managed to somehow see out the win.

Final Score Gloucester 15 (6) Saracens 17 (11)

Scorers

Gloucester
Tries –
Pen – Twelvetrees (5)
Con –
Drop –

Saracens
Tries – Ellery
Pen – Hodgson, Farrell 3
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :Matt Carley (33rd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Simon Harding & Roy Maybank
TMO: Stuart Terheege.

Teams

Gloucester

Charlie Sharples; David Halaifonua, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Bill Meakes, Jonny May; James Hook, Willi Heinz; Paddy McAllister, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa; Tom Savage, Sione Kalamafoni; Lewis Ludlow, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan

Replacements:Tom Lindsay, Yann Thomas, Paul Doran-Jones, Elliott Stooke, Jacob Rowan, Callum Braley, Steve McColl, Rob Cook

Saracens

15 Alex Goode , 14 Chris Ashton , 13 Tim Streather , 12 Owen Farrell , 11 Mike Ellery , 10 Charlie Hodgson , 9 Neil De Kock , 8 Jackson Wray , 7 Kelly Brown , 6 Michael Rhodes , 5 Jim Hamilton , 4 George Kruis , 3 Petrus Du Plessis , 2 Jamie George (c),1 Mako Vunipola

Replacements:16 Jared Saunders , 17 Rhys Gill , 18 Titi Lamositele , 19 Alistair Hargreaves , 20 Will Fraser , 21 Richard Wigglesworth , 22 Nick Tompkins , 23 Ben Ransom

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