For our last game of the season, we welcomed some of our junior reporters back to Kingsholm to report on our historic win against Saracens.
Read their takes on the 54-7 victory below.
Gloucester played Saracens for the second game in a row at Kingsholm, the first time being a heavy loss for them, so they’d have been hoping for a good win. Gloucester had a very strong team out, because if they won this game and Northampton lost, they would be into the play-offs.
Saracens kicked off the game and straight away and you can see Thorley getting stuck into a kick chase, which he will do in many points of the game. Gloucester’s defence was solid in the opening stages of the game as well, with Saracens not making many metres in Gloucester’s half, which led to a turnover by Santi Carreras, him having a very strong game as well. Moving onto the 9th minute and Gloucester had an attacking lineout on Saracens 5-meter line, which started the trend of the extremely strong driving mauls from Gloucester, this led to a try from the talented hooker, Jack singleton, Gloucester looking strong in the opening 10 minutes.
Saracens had a good attack going but were quickly turned over by Ben Meehan , Saracens had another chance straight after this, but knocked it on. A very strong attack by Louis Rees Zammit after the scrum led to another penalty to Gloucester, who kicked to touch to the middle of the 22. Jordy Reid then made a very strong break through the Sarries defence to score Gloucester second of the day, converted by Adam Hastings to make it 14-0. A very strong start for Gloucester. Fast forward to the 22nd minute and Saracens had a strong break down the wing, the Saracens winger dove onto the line but was disallowed by the referee, he had lost control of the ball mid-air. It led to Gloucester getting a penalty straight away. Fast forward to the 32nd minute where Ollie Thorley made a quick line break to pass it onto Santi Carreras for Gloucester’s third try of the day, which again was converted by Hastings, they are seeming to be very much in control of this match. This made the score 21-0. It was very much Gloucester's half with Saracen’s attacks being few and far between.
It was Gloucester who kicked off the second half, and it didn’t take long for the action to start again, Saracens number 5, Swinson, got a yellow card for a high tackle on Thorley, Then the Gloucester deadly driving maul strikes again with another try for the hooker, Jack singleton. After this Saracens got their first penalty of the game, and this was kicked to the 5-meter line, they went for the driving maul, but Gloucester quickly shut it down, again Gloucester maul game being extremely strong. This led to another penalty for Gloucester, then an Ollie Thorley try in the 49th minute, a very easy stroll onto the try line, Gloucester 33 - Saracens 0. A walk in the park for Gloucester so far. Ollie Thorley needed a HIA, in which Johnny May returned to the Kingsholm pitch, which the Gloucester supporters gave him a warm welcome, him unfortunately not scoring any tries. Gloucester with another magical driving maul from the lineout, which was then scored by Santiago Soncino in the 57th minute. After this Saracens finally get on the score sheet with some scrappy ball in the midfield picked up by the Saracens number 4, Marlins, to run in for the try. To make it 40-7 to Gloucester. Now fast forward to the 68th minute with probably the try of the game scored by louis Rees Zammit, Jordy Reid kicking the ball far down the pitch with an intense kick chase which he won, the score was 47-7. Last try scored by Jack clement, a very quick-paced strong attack, picked up and dove over line, Sarries with a very disappointing defeat, in their last normal game, perhaps did not have a very strong side to save their strongest for the tricky play offs. But still a very convincing win for the Cherry and Whites, unfortunately not making the top 4 because of Northampton winning. A positive end to a strong season.
A Jubilant Jubilee at Kingsholm!
The Glawster faithful gathered at Kingsholm on the Jubilee Saturday for the final home game of the season against Saracens.
The crowd was in a good mood but maybe a little nervous following the recent defeat by Saracens in the European Challenge Cup.
George Skivington certainly had his poker face on when he came out during the warmup, and he was certainly not giving anything away. If he was nervous, he didn’t show it.
Kick off and Val Rapava- Ruskin demonstrated an excellent turnover within the first 5 minutes and Gloucester showed some fantastic attack. Sarries also show some good defence. Chris Harris kicks ahead, though this leads to a Sarries scrum on their 22.
Sarries have an infringement 7 minutes in which gives Adam Hastings an opportunity to kick the ball and the play was in to the Sarries 22. Play becomes frantic and Sarries collapse the maul. The maul restarts, it’s the maul of dreams and Jack Singleton gets us over the line, it’s a TRY! Kingsholm is loud and proud! Hasting successfully converts, it’s 7-0.
A game of tennis with the rugby ball follows, back and forth we go! Saracens 15, Elliott Obatoyinbo, is everywhere, a fantastic athletic show with speed and height. Sarries are defiant and on the attack but then find themselves offside. Kingsholm is watching closely and waiting and then there is Ben Meehan passes to Jordy Reid who finds himself unopposed by the Sarries, he gets over the line and it’s another TRY! A wonderful display of teamwork finished off in the right way with a Hastings conversion.
Sarries believe they have a the try in the 24th minute, there’s definitely a flying display a gymnast would be proud of from Max Malins, flying through the air! TMO is checking and Kingsholm offers their own verdicts from the stands as the replays are shown. Is it? No, it’s NO TRY, the ball was lost. All fly no try, sorry Sarries!
Hastings kicks a Gloucester penalty following a knock on at the line out and there was a bit of Gloucester magic, Obatoyinbo has the ball and our Captain, Lewis Ludlow gives him a hit of what Gloucester are made of, we were expecting thunder in the air, but it was on the pitch in that moment!
Sarries remain looking strong, they demonstrate some effective communication between them, and we wonder if they have lured Gloucester into a false sense of security…Not at all! A penalty follows and Jack Singleton powers to the 22 and Santiago Carreras takes us under the sticks, go Santi! Kingsholm raises the roof again but falling silent for Hastings to convert, it’s 21-0.
Sarries have a Head Injury Assessment then play resumes with Ben Meehan giving Sarries the run-around and a knock on follows a scrum on the halfway. Play continues, Gloucester are strong with their communication and Sarries become frantic. An outstanding piece of running from Louis Rees-Zammit but it ends with a tackle. Louis looks to have a knee injury, you know that Kingsholm is holding its breath as the medics see to Louis, is he OK? The pain is etched on his face, but up he gets up and Kingsholm applauds.
Plays continues and Ollie Thorley makes a break in the last minute before the whistle blows. It’s 21-0 and Skiv still has his game face on!
The second half brings the rain to Kingsholm. Sarries come out with some renewed energy, can they pull back the 21-0 score line, you never know with Sarries and Gloucester aren’t taking anything for granted.
Thorley comes back to where he left off in the first but suffers what looks to the fans like a shoulder barge from Tim Swinson. TMO replays, it’s a high tackle and a yellow card is shown. It’s the sin bin for Swin! Hastings kicks 5m out. Another fantastic maul follows and it’s Singleton again over the line, it’s a bonus point! No conversion this time and you can see Sarries breathe a sigh of relief, they know this is still in their grasp. They get a penalty at 5m out but Val Rapava- Ruskin is all over the ball to win the penalty and put Sarries hopes back in their place.
Sarries play on but become a little ineffective in their play whilst a man down, to the advantage of Chris Harris, he sees a gap, Ollie Thorley responds, taking the ball flying over the line, it’s a well-deserved Try for Ollie.
Harry Elrington is welcomed to the pitch, subbing for Val and Santiago Socino is subbed for Jack Singleton, warm welcomes for both and thundering applause for Val and Jack. Not long after Ollie Thorley is off for a potential Head Injury Assessment and Kingsholm welcomes Jonny May to the pitch. What game for all these players!
Play carries on and Santiago Socino steps right into Jack Singleton’s boots in the maul, he gets a TRY! Kingsholm can hardly believe it, what a score line, made better by a Hastings conversion, it’s now 40-0. C’mon Glaws, that 50 is in sight!
An hour in and Lewis Ludlow is off, what applause for our Captain, he claps the fans back, Jack Clement is on for Lewis.
Saracens look tight, they look strong, has this score offered some motivation? It did Max Malins, the gymnast from earlier, gets his try, this time, fly and try, a successful conversion from Vunipola takes the score to 40-7.
There is more fantastic play from both teams, Gloucester definitely has the edge though, Sarries are strong and everywhere. The Gloucester showed the Saracens who are the warriors. A turnover from Carrera with a formidable combination of Alemanno, Hastings and Jordy, the balls gets kicked ahead and FUELED BY THE SHED….Louis Rees-Zammit gets his speed on, leaving Sarries behind, they don’t even try to catch him, it’s TRY, a magnificent TRY! Kingsholm raising the roofs again. This is the play of dreams, try of the season? A contender, best speak to Jamal Ford-Robson about his try at the Bath game! The conversion follows from Hastings.
Gloucester Subs Gotovstev, Meehan and Harris, well done guys, you did the club proud. We welcome Balmain, Chapman and Twelvetrees to the pitch, they slot in exactly where they’re needed.
The last 10 minutes, Sarries can’t pull this back now, they know this, but they carry on, they never give up and demonstrate some great teamwork but Gloucester are better, they’re tighter, they’re stronger and we have a TRY! It’s Jack Clements! What an impact from the recent sub. It’s another successful conversion and it’s 54-7.
Alemanno is subbed at the 76th minute for Davidson, applause all round.
Saracens really go for it in the last 4 minutes but it’s not enough, Ruan Ackermann gives a great ‘Oh no you don’t’ to Elliot Obatoyinbo in the final minute of play.
Injury time follows, great play from both teams but ultimately, the final whistle blows, and Gloucester are the deserving winners, what a game.
Saracens- some great game play, you’ve had a great season and we look forward to meeting you next season.
Well Done Gloucester, you’ve done yourselves proud again!
We get a smile at long last from Skivington, you should be so proud of your team George, we are, and we can’t wait to see what you deliver next season!
Following the match, Kingsholm gathered to watch the fan’s Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year awards.
These awards are important, they’re voted for by us, the fans. I voted and I hope you all cast your votes as well!
It’s difficult as a fan to choose your favourites and all the players deserve awards (and you too George Skivington!).
The Young Player of the Year Awards goes to… Scrum Half, Charlie Chapman! Charlie has really made an impact at Gloucester, grasping each opportunity he has been given. We have seen some wonderful play from Charlie this season, he’s one to watch as the next few seasons progress, well deserved Charlie!
Player of the Year…it was wide open; it could really have been any of the squad. Flanker, our No 8, Ruan Ackermann was awarded Player of the Year. Ruan has been a constant in the Gloucester Squad for the past 4 years. Ruan shows us his determination in each match he is in, he is solid, reliable, he’s strong, he’s athletic and consistent. Well Done, Ruan, we can’t wait to see you play again next season!