Sat 23 Mar 2019 | 08:50

Gloucester cement top-four spot

Gloucester cement top-four spot
Sat 23 Mar 2019 | 08:50
Gloucester cement top-four spot
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PREMIERSHIP SATURDAY WRAP: Jake Polledri crossed late on to seal an impressive victory for Gloucester – which keeps them well-placed for a top-four finish.

The Cherry & Whites were slow out of the blocks at Kingsholm, as they claimed a league double over Wasps for the first time since the 2010/11 season.

* In other Saturday action Will Skelton’s second-half double helped Saracens come from behind to beat Harlequins at London Stadium in a pulsating derby clash.

* Worcester Warriors held off a late Bristol Bears charge to emerge from Ashton Gate with what could be a vital win as they prevailed 27-25 on their travels.

We look at all the Saturday matches!

Premiership results

Bristol Bears 25-27 Worcester Warriors

Worcester Warriors held off a late Bristol Bears charge to emerge from Ashton Gate with what could be a vital win as they prevailed 27-25 on their travels.

Scores from Ted Hill, Ben Te’o and a beauty from Josh Adams, coupled with the imperious kicking of Duncan Weir saw them on their way, but it was a dogged defensive rearguard that saw them home.

Bears had the chance to win it at the death, but Ian Madigan dragged a penalty from range agonisingly wide for the exasperated home support.

Five minutes in and the hosts grabbed the lead, a penalty try awarded when a hefty shove from a threatening driving maul was collapsed by the Warriors, who lost Niall Annett to the bin for his part in proceedings.

But the Warriors battled to gain a foothold, weathering the early Bears storm and waiting patiently to return to a full compliment before they sprung an offensive of their own, with Hill crashing over after a sustained period of Worcester pressure to justify their hard work.

They weren’t level for long, however, Luke Morahan dashing into open grass down the right to capitalise on a Bears overlap after quick hands in the midfield worked the ball his way.

A harum-scarum opening saw the Warriors snatch their first lead of the fixture just after the 20 minute mark, Te’o gratefully gathering out wide to cross from close-range, but a pair of Callum Sheedy penalties once again shifted the momentum towards the Bears.

Adams kept up his rip-roaring Six Nations form when he dove over acrobatically in the corner after a teasingly looped pass, Weir adding the extras and a subsequent penalty to put the Warriors back in-front, with the game on a knife-edge.

Weir kept up his reputation as something of a kicking automaton, slotting another penalty to stretch Worcester’s lead to nine early in the second half.

After a period of scrappy that suited the visitors, Bristol wrestled their way back into contention thanks to a score and conversion from Sheedy, drawing them to within two as the match entered its closing stages still finely poised.

Ben Te’o saw yellow as the Bears got the bit between their teeth, but Worcester dug in.

Madigan missed a penalty from the halfway line to edge the Bears in front before Andy Uren almost broke through, but the Warriors held on for a huge win.

The scorers:

For Bristol Bears:
Tries: Morahan, Sheedy, penalty try
Cons: Sheedy , Penalty try does not require a conversion
Pens: Sheedy 2

For Worcester Warriors:
Tries: Hill, Te’o, Adams
Cons: Weir 3
Pens: Weir 2

Yellow cards: Niall Annett (Worcester Warriors, 4), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors, 68)

Teams:

Bristol Bears: 15 Luke Daniels, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Siale Piutau (co-captain), 11 Tom Pincus, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Jordan Crane (co-captain), 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Steve Luatua, 5 Chris Vui, 4 Ed Holmes, 3 Lewis Thiede, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Jake Woolmore.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 John Afoa, 19 Joe Batley, 20 Dan Thomas, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Mat Protheroe.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Ben Te’o, 12 Ryan Mills (captain), 11 Josh Adams, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Marco Mama, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Ted Hill, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Pierce Philips, 20 Carl Kirwan, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Will Butler.

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley & Thomas Foley.
TMO: Rowan Kitt.

Gloucester 27-14 Wasps

Jake Polledri crossed late on to seal an impressive victory for Gloucester that keeps them well-placed for a top-four finish.

The Cherry & Whites were slow out of the blocks at Kingsholm, as they looked to claim a league double over Wasps for the first time since the 2010/11 season.

Marcus Watson went over in the right corner for the visitors, Rob Miller’s boot added two penalties and after half an hour Wasps were 11-0 to the good.

But not for nothing have Johan Ackermann’s side only lost once at home in the league since September, and they came storming back before the break.

Fine interplay saw Tom Marshall break clear and feed skipper Willi Heinz for their first score and soon after they had a second.

Ollie Thorley continued his remarkable season with a searing break and although he was dragged down just short of the line, Ruan Ackermann finished the job from close range.

Billy Twelvetrees – perfect from the tee all afternoon – drilled the extras and the hosts took a 14-11 lead into the interval.

Wasps – who now have just one win from their last eight first-team games – tried to muster a response after the interval but Miller’s penalty was cancelled out by two from Twelvetrees.

And that set the stage for Polledri, the flanker coming off the bench to power over in the left corner with the final play of the game and leave Wasps still awaiting a first win at Kingsholm since 2014.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: Heinz, Ackermann, Polledri
Cons: Twelvetrees 3
Pens: Twelvetrees 2

For Wasps:
Try: Watson
Pens: Miller 3

Yellow card: Franco Mostert (Gloucester, 60 )

Teams:

Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Willi Heinz (captain), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Freddie Clarke, 20 Jake Polledri, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Matt Banahan, 23 Charlie Sharples.

Wasps: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Gaby Lovobalavu, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Rob Miller, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Nizaam Carr, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain), 3 Will Stuart, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Zurabi Zhvania.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Ashley Johnson, 21 Will Porter, 22 Jacob Umaga, 23 Josh Bassett.

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Hamish Smales & Simon McConnell.
TMO: Stuart Terheege.

Saracens 27-20 Harlequins

Will Skelton’s second-half double helped Saracens come from behind to beat Harlequins at London Stadium in a pulsating derby clash.

Paul Gustard’s Harlequins came flying out of the blocks and led at half-time thanks to superb tries from halfbacks Marcus Smith and Danny Care.

But Saracens so often come back strongly and Saturday was no different, as Schalk Burger powered over and Skelton twice proved unstoppable from short range, sealing an impressive comeback win for the defending champions.

The London Derby began evenly but Harlequins drew first blood with a breakdown penalty that Smith sailed over from 45 metres out, in front of almost 43,000 roaring supporters.

Saracens piled on the pressure with two penalties kicked to the corner but couldn’t make it count, and Harlequins almost made it over at the other end thanks to a Mike Brown break, only for a last-ditch tackle on Ross Chisholm.

The south west Londoner’s did cross on 32 minutes, as Ben Tapuai found Smith coming round on an outside break, into and through the Saracens 22.

Just before half-time Harlequins got their second, as a spell of pressure eventually saw Care snipe his way into the other corner, with Smith converting.

Harlequins led 17-6 at the break but you sensed a Saracens fightback would come, and come it did just seven minutes into the second half as Burger powered over short distance.

Skelton repeated that trick ten minutes later as Saracens took over the lead before Smith levelled things at 20-20.

The giant Australian lock completed his double from short range 13 minutes from time, with Harlequins unable to find a way back into the contest.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Burger, Skelton 2
Cons: Lozowski 3
Pens: Lozowski 2

For Harlequins:
Tries: Smith, Care
Cons: Smith 2
Pens: Smith 2

Yellow cards: Liam Williams (Saracens, 54 ), Matt Symons (Harlequins, 38), Danny Care (Harlequins, 54)

Teams:

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Nemani Nagusa, 7 John Hardie, 6 Mark Wilson (captain), 5 Andrew Davidson, 4 Calum Green, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Sam Lockwood.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 David Wilson, 19 Evan Olmstead, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Johnny Williams.

Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 James O’Connor, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 Sam James, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Ben Curry, 6 Tom Curry, 5 James Phillips, 4 Josh Beaumont, 3 WillGriff John, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Joe Jones, 19 Bryn Evans, 20 Cameron Neild, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Cameron Redpath, 23 Arron Reed.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal & Wayne Falla.
TMO: Sean Davey.

 

Newcastle Falcons 22-17 Sale Sharks

Newcastle Falcons gave themselves a Premiership lifeline in The Big One at St James’ Park, defeating a deflated Sale Sharks and keeping their hopes of avoiding relegation alive.

Despite their disjointed performance, Sale looked the slicker side at the start and turned their early pressure into points when Denny Solomona finished a crisp passing move. Faf de Klerk, whose clever offload helped set up the opening score, converted the subsequent kick.

Falcons rallied in the following exchanges, prematurely celebrating a charged-down Andrew Davidson try until the score was ruled out with the help of TMO.

The home side continued to come back into the contest, with winger Sinoti Sinoti posing a continual threat down the left flank. Sale’s defence, however, refused to be beaten.

TMO came into further use on the brink of half-time when a second Sale score was overturned after Byron McGuigan was adjudged to be offside.

Falcons came out energised in the second-half, starting brightly and taking the lead on 44 minutes when Toby Flood went over following a scrum on Sale’s five-metre line.

The home side extended their advantage two minutes later, with a long-range Sonatane Takulua penalty making the score 16-10.

Takulua’s kicking was clinical, slotting two more penalties and providing his side with a 12-point lead after a prolonged period of Falcons domination and Sale indiscipline.

The visitors continued to battle in the face of adversity, coming back into the game with four minutes remaining when McGuigan finished expertly in the corner. De Klerk displayed all his international experience in putting away the conversion to make it 22-17.

Falcons held firm until the final whistle, however, defending resolutely to pick up a vital win and maintain their faint hopes of avoiding the drop.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:
Try: Flood
Con: Takulua
Pens: Takulua 5

For Sale Sharks:
Tries: Solomona, McGuigan
Cons: De Klerk 2
Pen: De Klerk

Yellow cards: Logovi’i Mulipola (Newcastle Falcons, 18 ), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 41)

Teams:

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Nemani Nagusa, 7 John Hardie, 6 Mark Wilson (captain), 5 Andrew Davidson, 4 Calum Green, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Sam Lockwood.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 David Wilson, 19 Evan Olmstead, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Johnny Williams.

Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 James O’Connor, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 Sam James, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Ben Curry, 6 Tom Curry, 5 James Phillips, 4 Josh Beaumont, 3 WillGriff John, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon,17 Tom Bristow, 18 Joe Jones, 19 Bryn Evans, 20 Cameron Neild, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Cameron Redpath, 23 Arron Reed.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal & Wayne Falla.
TMO: Sean Davey.

 

Source: @premrugby

PV: 3456


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