MARCEL GARVEY struck twice in the last three minutes of last night's Guinness A League encounter to fire Gloucester to a convincing victory over Saracens.
The Kingsholm winger showed a glimpse of his blistering pace with two expert finishes in the last three minutes of Gloucester's 36-13 victory at Kingsholm.
His first came in the 78th minute when James Merriman broke up a Saracens attack with a steal and powerful break forward before Rob Thirlby gave Garvey the scoring pass 50 metres out. He had enough pace to get round the cover and add the bonus point score to Gloucester's effort.
And his second came two minutes later when, with Saracens plotting one last attack, Gloucester turned possession over. Quinton Davids found Brad Davies in midfield, Anthony Allen came into support before Narraway added his weight to the attack before setting Garvey free for another excellent try.
It was a good overall performance from Gloucester. Narraway, Merriman and Dean Miller were excellent in the back row, Mark Cornwell marshalled his troops effectively at lock and there was plenty of threat in the backs.
Scrum-half James Donovan and winger Matthew Nuttall, both from Wales, impressed with their work-rate and effort throughout as Gloucester slowly built up a commanding lead.
Saracens, who included Richard Haughton, Dan Scarbrough, Kevin Yates, Matt Cairns and Ben Broster were a handful, particulalry when stand-off Ben J Russell was allowed to get to his hands on the ball, so this was a good victory for Gloucester.
Russell kicked a second minute penalty to give Saracens the lead and after Ryan Lamb had missed two shots at goal, landed his third to level the scores after 20 minutes.
Five minutes later Gloucester got their first try. Donovan fed out from a scrum 10 metres from the line, Lamb and Anthony Allen combined before Garvey came in off his wing to put Thirlby in for a well-worked try. The conversion made it 10-3.
Russell cut the gap to 10-6 with a penalty but right on half-time, Gloucester scored again. Narraway was on hand to intercept a wayward Saracens pass in midfield and show good pace to score from 40 metres.
However, Saracens started the second half strongly and scored a very neat try themselves after 42 minutes. Nnamdi Obi hit the line at pace off his wing and combined with Billy O'Driscoll who fed Scarbrough to score from short range.
Saracens dominated territory thereafter for a considerable period of time but were unable to find their way across the line again, despite the promptings of Russell.
Gloucester weathered the storm and hit Sarries with three tries in the last 19 minutes. The third was a second for Narraway, who again picked a lovely angle in midfield following long passes from Donovan and Lamb to score to the left of the sticks.
The try put Gloucester 22-13 ahead and Garvey's late show added a comfortable feel to another excellent night of rugby.
Speaking after the 37-8 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Benetton Treviso, James Hook admitted that the Italian side made things tough for Gloucester at times but that the Cherry and Whites are happy to take the bonus point win and turn their focus to Northampton next week.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
The Gloucester Rugby Half Term Rugby Camps got off to a great start on Monday morning, with over 60 young rugby players braving the chilly weather to experience a great day of skills, learning and fun thanks to the Gloucester Rugby Community Department.
A number of Gloucester Rugby's promising young players are currently playing their competitive rugby on loan at other clubs, and six of them featured in Saturday's game between London Welsh and Rotherham Titans.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.