Gloucester Rugby put on a clinical performance to take the full five points in a 31-7 victory at Franklin’s Gardens.
Two tries from recently announced Lion, Louis Rees-Zammit as well as scores from Jack Singleton and Ed Slater gave the Cherry and Whites the try scoring bonus point with three penalty kicks from Billy Twelvetrees adding the extras.
It was a dominant first half and Gloucester Rugby went into the break 10-0 ahead after a strong opening 40 minutes. Twelvetrees got the Cherry and Whites on the scoreboard early on through an accurate 40m penalty kick at goal and the attacking structures were working well and space was being found.
It was Rees-Zammit who got over for the Cherry and Whites’ first try and it was Mark Atkinson, who was dangerous all game, who sparked the attack with an offload back on the inside to Santiago Carreras who then passed to the Welshman who showed his pace to get to the line.
In the second half, things started to open up and Slater made the most of a poor kick from Northampton to run at the space and dive over the line.
It wasn’t as easy a game as the score line might suggest and Northampton were in the fight for the full 80 minutes with their physical carrying and relentless work rate.
However, the Cherry and Whites were simply better on the day and it was a dominant drive at the lineout which saw Singleton get over for Gloucester Rugby’s third.
It was Rees-Zammit who got over for the all-important fourth score and the winger chased Willi Heinz's box kick and got to the line to dot down before anyone could stop him.
Unfortunately, Santiago Carreras was yellow carded along with Piers Francis for the scuffle that happened after the score and it wasn’t long before the Cherry and Whites were down to 13 men as Tom Seabrook was deemed to have deliberately knocked the ball on when going for the intercept which cost him 10 minutes in the bin.
Henry Taylor got over for Saints’ only score of the game but soon Gloucester Rugby were back to full strength and were able to hold out for the win with a late penalty from Twelvetrees.
Key moment – Rees-Zammit gets over for two
Rees-Zammit proved why he will be going on the plane to South Africa with the Lions this summer.
It was another brilliant display from the 20-year-old winger who scored twice at Franklin’s Gardens showing his raw pace in both scores.
Gloucester Rugby is back in action on May 17 when they travel to Ashton Gate to face Bristol Bears.