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.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).