Sarries' big statement after salary saga
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Saracens sent a strong message at the end of a tumultuous week when they thrashed Gloucester 21-12 at Kingsholm on Saturday.
The teams scored two tries each, but a streetwise performance on defence and the boot of flyhalf Manu Vunipola saw Sarries triumph.
It brought an end to a week in which the club was found guilty of breaking the salary cap.
The Londoners were fined in excess of £5.3million and deducted 35 league points, a punishment they are appealing.
* Did you miss any of the action? To recap all the Kingsholm drama, CLICK HERE!
Saracens ground out a gritty win on a wet afternoon.
The visitors opened the scoring through the boot of Manu Vunipola, who was at the heart of things as they extended their advantage when Nick Tompkins finished off a well-worked move.
But Gloucester hit back just minutes later with a stunning score of their own, Tom Marshall showing his football skills to dink over Alex Lewington before a couple more touches with his feet set him up to dive on the ball over the line.
Vunipola slotted two more penalties, and Ben Earl added the Londoners’ second score from a powerful maul after Nick Isiekwe saw his identical score ruled out minutes earlier.
Lewis Ludlow made it close with a score inside the final 10 minutes, but they could not muster the try that would have given them a losing bonus point.
Tries: Marshall, Ludlow
Tries: Tompkins, Earl
Pens: Vunipola 3
Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Ben Morgan (captain), 7 Lewis Ludlow, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Corné Fourie, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Jake Polledri, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Matt Banahan.
Saracens: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jackson Wray (captain), 7 Ben Earl, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Titi Lamositele, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Ralph Adams-Hale.
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Joel Kpoku, 20 Callum Hunter-Hill, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Rotimi Segun.
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Adam Leal & Phillip Watters.
TMO: Claire Hodnett.