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Pollard, Itoje star in victories

SATURDAY WRAP: Handre Pollard had another sterling performance for Leicester in their 38-20 victory over Gloucester in the Premiership on Saturday.

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The Springboks added four penalties and three conversions .

Gloucester’s miserable form continued in their fifth consecutive Premiership defeat.

Saracens and Bath had previously won at Kingsholm this season but Gloucester were in contention to stop the rot until George Barton and Jack Clement were sin-binned in quick succession midway through the second half.

In their absence, Leicester scored 14 points and it proved decisive with Julian Montoya and Solomone Kata also on the try-scoring sheet.

George McGuigan and Jamal Ford-Robinson scored Gloucester’s tries, with Barton kicking two penalties and two conversions. Pollard kicked Leicester into a third-minute lead before Barton missed the chance to level the scores when his 30-metre penalty rebounded back off a post.

Barton soon made amends by succeeding with a more difficult kick from the halfway line before Pollard was given another kickable opportunity. However, Tigers opted for an attacking line-out and it proved the wrong call as stubborn defence kept out a succession of forward drives from the visitors’ pack.

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Gloucester were able to relieve the pressure thanks to being awarded a couple of penalties and from the second, Barton missed the chance to give his side the lead for the first time. The first 25 minutes were featureless and forgettable as both sides failed to take advantage of the ideal playing conditions and it came as no surprise that the next scoring opportunity came via a penalty.

The second half continued in a similar vein with both scrum-halves, Micky Young and Ben Youngs, still content to launch the ball skywards at every opportunity. However, Gloucester got back into contention with a try from McGuigan as a result of an unstoppable lineout drive with Leicester’s lock, Ollie Chessum, yellow-carded for a high challenge.

The game looked set for a momentum swing but Barton immediately followed Chessum to the bin for a high challenge on Pollard and the Tigers soon benefitted with a try from skipper Montoya.

Gloucester’s woes continued when No. 8 Clement was sin-binned for a deliberate offside, with their opponents capitalising by scoring the best try of the match. On halfway, Steward fielded a clearance for Jasper Wiese to make ground before skilful handling sent Hassell-Collins over for his second.

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Ford-Robinson reduced the arrears with Gloucester’s second try but Tigers sealed victory with a fourth penalty from Pollard and a bonus-point try from Kata.

* Saracens inflicted a fifth successive Gallagher Premiership defeat on Bristol but they were forced to dig deep for their 39-31 victory at StoneX Stadium.

At one point it looked as though the champions would be punished for Owen Farrell’s wayward kicking after the England captain failed to covert his side’s first three tries and slot a penalty.

Farrell’s inability to land the points contrasted with Callum Sheedy’s pinpoint accuracy from the tee and the difference between the flyhalves’ successive rate was magnified until Jamie George crossed in the 54th minute.

Once again Maro Itoje was at the heart of Saracens’ resistance as the England second row continued his resurgence in form with a blockbuster display that was recognised with the man of the match award.

Due to Farrell’s wayward kicking Saracens trailed 15-21 entering the break and his troubles continued into the second half when he sent a long-range penalty wide.

Saracens dominated the closing stages, however, and were rewarded with George’s second try which swept them out of reach.

Gloucester 20-38 Leicester Tigers

Scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: McGuigan, Ford-Robinson
Cons: Barton 2
Pens: Barton 2

For Leicester:
Tries: Hassell-Collins 2, Montoya, Kata
Cons: Pollard 4
Pens: Pollard 3

Gloucester: 15 Santi Carreras, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 George Barton, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Jack Clement, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 6 Freddie Thomas, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Mayco Vivas
Replacements: 16 Santi Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Arthur Clark, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Micky Young, 22 Mark Atkinson, 23 Louis Hillman-Cooper

Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Josh Bassett, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ben Youngs,8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Cameron Henderson, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 James Cronin,
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 James Whitcombe, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Matt Rogerson, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Jamie Shillcock, 23 Solomone Kata

Referee: Tom Foley (124th game)
Assistant Referees: Hamish Smales & John Meredith
TMO: Stuart Terheege

Saracens 39-31 Bristol Bears

Scorers:
For Saracens:
Tries: Farrell, Lewington 2, B Vunipola, George 2, Willis
Cons: Farrell 2

For Bristol:
Tries: Batley, Genge, Oghre, Marmion
Pen: Sheedy
Cons: Sheedy 4

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Tom Parton, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Aled Davies; 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Andy Christie, 6 Tom Willis, 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola,
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Alec Clarey, 19 Theo McFarland, 20 Toby Knight, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Olly Hartley, 23 Sean Maitland

Bristol Bears: 15 Max Malins, 14 Gabriel Ibitoye, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 11 Rich Lane, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Fitz Harding (captain), 7 Dan Thomas, 6 Jake Heenan, 5 Joe Batley, 4 James Dun, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Gabriel Oghre, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 George Kloska, 19 Josh Caulfield, 20 Paddy Pearce, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 James Williams, 23 Kalaveti Ravouvou

Referee: Luke Pearce (142nd game)
Assistant Referees: Gareth Holsgrove & Simon Harding
TMO: Rowan Kitt

Sunday, November 26

 

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