December 6 2013 Latest news:
By Nick Wright at Allianz Park
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Aviva Premiership: Saracens 44 Gloucester 12
Gloucester’s Nick Wood was sent off for stamping after less than two minutes as Saracens secured a bonus-point home win to go top of the Aviva Premiership.
The match was only 73 seconds old when Wood’s moment of madness arrived. The prop’s stamp on Jacques Burger’s head was blatant and as Saracens players hurried over to their team-mate’s defence, referee Wayne Barnes swiftly brandished the red card.
Gloucester held their own in an even first half, but Sarries made the extra man count after the break as they sent their fans home happy from their first Allianz Park clash of the season.
David Strettle grabbed two tries, while Joel Tomkins, Schalk Brits and Billy Vunipola got one each and Owen Farrell kicked 17 points.
Wood’s early exit left Gloucester a man light for almost the entire match, but the visitors refused to lie down in the first half.
Gloucester’s Freddie Burns scored the first points of the match with a penalty after five minutes, and it wasn’t until the 21st minute that Sarries made their first breakthrough.
Tomkins got the try after collecting a pass from Richard Wigglesworth and breaking clear under the posts, with Farrell converting.
Burns produced another successful penalty moments later, and although Farrell re-established Sarries’ four-point lead with another penalty, two more clean kicks from Burns gave the visitors an unlikely 12-10 lead at half-time.
Aware that they had failed to punish the 14-man visitors in the first period, Saracens made a rapid start to the second half and immediately put Gloucester under pressure.
Farrell put the hosts back in front with his second penalty in the 43rd minute, and five minutes later the north Londoners’ had their second try of the afternoon, as Strettle raced away and crossed the line in the corner.
Farrell’s conversion bounced over off the inside of the far post, and the England and Lions man followed that up with another sweetly-struck penalty to make it 23-12 to Saracens after 53 minutes.
With Gloucester’s resistance waning, Saracens all but ended the contest five minutes later when Brits grabbed his try after the home side’s hulking forwards had powered their way over the line. Farrell was on hand again to convert with unerring accuracy.
Sarries’s Chris Wyles and replacement Ben Spencer both went close to adding tries, but there was still time for the rampaging Vunipola to cross the line and for Strettle to round off the scoring with his second try.
Both tries were successfully converted, leaving Sarries to celebrate a 100 per cent start to the season.