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Gloucester 29-28 Saracens

Gloucester (16) 29
Tries: Sharples 2 Cons: Burns 2 Pens: Burns 5
Saracens (13) 28
Tries: Barritt, Wyles, Goode Pens: Jackson 2, Hougaard Cons: Jackson, Hougaard

Charlie Sharples scores
Sharples scored two tries but the hosts still had to hang on for a dramatic win

Charlie Sharples scored twice as Gloucester held off a dramatic late push to beat Saracens at Kingsholm.

Brad Barritt finished off a wonderful move to move Sarries ahead early on before Sharples finished off another fine break to respond for the hosts.

Sharples latched onto a Freddie Burns kick to put Gloucester ahead but scores from Chris Wyles and Alex Goode set up a grandstand finish to a fine game.

But Derick Hougaard missed a late kick to win it as Gloucester just hung on.

The hosts had 19-year-old full-back Burns to thank, with two conversion and five penalties in a superb kicking display earning the youngster the man-of-the-match award.

Barritt's try will surely be a contender for score of the season after a flowing move from inside the Saracens half but Sharples quickly hit back after Tim Molenaar blasted through the visiting defence.

The outstanding Burns chipped away and then set up Sharples with a perfect cross-kick to the right corner after the break.

However, another brilliant try, when Saracens created space on the right for skipper Ernst Joubert to put in Wyles, put the visitors back in contention.

The match deserved a blistering climax and got one as Goode grabbed a try five minutes from the end. Hougaard converted but failed with a 52-metre penalty to win it in the dying minutes.

Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath:
"We got in front at 29-18 and I thought we had done enough.

"Credit to Sarries, they came back. Two of the tries we let through were poor so I was disappointed with that but delighted with the boys' effort.

"The game was not about being pretty, it was about doing the basics well and the biggest criticism from me was that we didn't do the basics right when that was what we needed."

Saracens coach Brendan Venter:
"We missed four kicks and we were going to win that game comfortably. When we kept the ball in hand, we looked great.

"And I have said to the guys down there (in the changing rooms), with that kind of rugby we can genuinely win the Premiership.

"Every single decision went against us. We did not get one call from the referee, one call from the touch-judge, we missed four kicks at goal but that is how rugby works and sometimes you lose those games."

Gloucester: Burns; Sharples, Molenaar, Fuimaono-Sapolu, Vainikolo; Taylor, Lawson; Dickinson, Azam, Doran-Jones; James, Bortolami; Boer (c), Hazell, Eustace.
Replacements: Lawson (for Azam 79), Wood (for Dickinson 63), Capdevielle (for Doran-Jones 68), Brown (for Bortolami 52), Pasqualin (for Burns 75), Robinson (for Taylor 47), Simpson-Daniel (for Molenaar 37), Qera (for Eustace 53).

Saracens: Goode; Tagicakibau, Powell, Barritt, Wyles; Jackson, de Kock; Gill, Brits, Plessis, Vyvyan, Botha, Burger, Saull, Joubert (c).
Replacements: Ongaro, Aguero (for Gill 31), Skuse (for Du Plessis 28), Ryder (for Botha 52), Melck, Rauluni, Hougaard (for Barritt 52), Haughton.

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see also
Guscott's predictions
01 Apr 10 |  English
Rugby union commentaries
09 Sep 10 |  Rugby Union
New Agar deal ends England talk
01 Apr 10 |  Hull
Newcastle 25-13 Gloucester
31 Mar 10 |  English
Tonga'uiha switch row rumbles on
03 Apr 10 |  Northampton
Saracens 58-15 Newcastle
28 Mar 10 |  English

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