Argentinean import sparks Gloucester
SATURDAY WRAP: A scintillating performance by Argentina international Santiago Carreras inspired Gloucester to a 34-19 victory over Northampton at Kingsholm.
Carreras was one of the Cherry and Whites’ four try-scorers as he finished with a personal haul of 19 points to ensure his side moved up three places to fourth in the Premiership.
They leapfrogged their visitors in the process as the Saints endured a disappointing day in their last league fixture of 2022, and their indiscipline played a part in their undoing yet again.
Northampton began on the front foot and it needed a smart interception by Gloucester number eight Ben Morgan from Alex Mitchell’s pass metres from his own try-line to relieve some early pressure from the visitors.
Instead, it was Gloucester who opened the scoring after 13 minutes when their captain Lewis Ludlow did well to gather Carreras’ pass over his head before off-loading for Jack Singleton to score.
Saints’ response was swift, however, as Fin Smith spotted a big overlap on the left and flung a long pass out for Tommy Freeman to go over, with Smith adding the conversion to level.
Four minutes later Freeman had his second when he crossed to his opposite wing to sprint clear off James Ramm’s pass and finished in the right-hand corner for an unconverted try.
It did not take long for the Cherry and Whites to regain the lead as Carreras weaved his way through a fractured Northampton defence before off-loading to give Chris Harris an easy finish, then adding the extras.
The flyhalf then had a try for himself to extend the lead to 21-12, meeting minimal resistance on his way through after Morgan had picked up and run off the back of a scrum.
Smith missed a penalty for Northampton on the stroke of half-time and another good opportunity passed the visitors by when tighthead Paul Hill knocked on just a few metres from the line.
The second half proved to be a stop-start affair, partly caused by Saints repeatedly being penalised, which eventually led to Ludlam being sin-binned with an hour played.
Almost immediately Gloucester had their bonus point when Fraser Balmain was helped over the line by a couple of his team-mates after the initial rolling maul had been repelled.
The hosts were in full control and it was effectively game over when Carreras kicked a penalty, even though the Cherry and Whites finished with 14 men after Ruan Ackermann’s yellow card.
In his absence, Saints were able to pull a try back when Mitchell’s deft pass sent Ramm clear to score under the posts, but it was fitting that Carreras had the final say for Gloucester with a late penalty.
All Saturday’s scores and scorers
London Irish 39-17 Newcastle Falcons
For London Irish
Tries: Stokes, Jackson, Luna 2, Coleman
Cons: Jackson 4
Pens: Jackson 2
For Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Carreras, Pepper
Cons: Connon 2
London Irish: 15 James Stokes, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Will Joseph, 12 Benhard van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 8 Josh Basham, 7 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 6 Matt Rogerson (captain), 5 Chunya Munga, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Facundo Gigena.
Replacements: 16 Mike Willemse, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Josh Caulfield, 20 Adam Coleman, 21 Chandler Cunningham-South, 22 Joe Powell, 23 Luca Morisi.
Newcastle: 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Matias Moroni, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Michael Young (captain), 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Guy Pepper, 6 Callum Chick, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Richard Palframan, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Adam Brocklebank.
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Conrad Cade, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Matthew Dalton, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Tom Penny.
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson, Wayne Falla
TMO: Anthony Woodthorpe
Gloucester 34-19 Northampton Saints
Tries: Singleton, Harris, Carreras, Balmain
Cons: Carreras 4
Pens: Carreras 2
Tries: Freeman 2, Ramm
Cons: Smith, Furbank
Gloucester: 15 Lloyd Evans, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin.
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cam Jordan, 20 Jake Polledri, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Alex Hearle.
Northampton: 15 George Furbank, 14 James Ramm, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tommy Freeman, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Lewis Ludlam (captain), 6 Alex Coles, 5 Alex Moon, 4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Alfie Petch, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Sam Graham, 22 Tom James, 23 Matt Proctor.
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald, John Meredith
TMO: Andrew Jackson
Bristol Bears 26-26 Leicester Tigers
For Bristol Bears
Tries: Radradra, Piutau, Byrne, Ibitoye
Cons: Sheedy, MacGinty 2
For Leicester Tigers
Tries: Kelly, Ashton, Montoya
Pens: Burns 3
Red card: Semi Radradra Waqavatu (Bristol Bears, 28)
Yellow card: Francois van Wyk (Leicester Tigers, 64)
Bristol Bears: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Deago Bailey, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Piers O’Conor, 11 Gabriel Ibitoye, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Will Porter, 8 Jake Heenan, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Steven Luatua (captain), 5 Joe Batley, 4 Chris Vui, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Bryan Byrne, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 John Hawkins, 20 Dan Thomas, 21 Andy Uren, 22 AJ MacGinty, 23 Joe Jenkins.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Guy Porter, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Anthony Watson, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 James Whitcombe.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 George Martin, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Charlie Atkinson, 23 Harry Potter.
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Mike Hudson, Jamie Leahy
TMO: Claire Hodnett