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Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Saturday, 12 April 2008 14:57 UK

Gloucester 39-15 Saracens

Gloucester (15) 39
Tries: Lamb 2, Qera, Lawson, Simpson-Daniel, Vainikolo Cons: Lamb 3 Pens: Lamb

Saracens (3) 15
Tries: Skirving, Powell Cons: Jackson Pens: Ross


Ryan Lamb
Ryan Lamb touches down after a fine try for Gloucester

Leaders Gloucester moved six points clear at the top of the Premiership table after Ryan Lamb inspired an emphatic victory over Saracens.

The fly-half bagged 19 points, including two tries in three minutes at the start of a one-sided second period.

James Simpson-Daniel, Akapusi Qera, Lesley Vainikolo and Rory Lawson also touched down for the dominant hosts.

Adam Powell and Ben Skirving scored for Sarries while Glen Jackson kicked a penalty and Gordon Ross a conversion.

Injury-hit Saracens were without full-back Brent Russell, wing Francisco Leonelli, centre Andy Farrell and flanker Paul Gustard.

Cherry and Whites coach Dean Ryan, meanwhile, made five changes following his team's Heineken Cup exit last week.

In came England centre Mike Tindall, making his first Premiership appearance since 26 January, after recovering from injuries while on Six Nations duty.

606: DEBATE

He partnered Simpson-Daniel in midfield, while Chris Paterson was replaced on the wing by Iain Balshaw.

And it was Simpson-Daniel who collected the opener, finishing off a sweeping move that featured telling bursts from Qera and skipper Marco Bortolami.

Saracens were opened up again and Qera touched down after fielding Balshaw's long, accurate pass.

Stung into action, Saracens hit back with a Jackson penalty, but Gloucester restored a 12-point advantage on the stroke of half-time when Lamb landed an angled penalty.

Saracens' victory hopes evaporated within six minutes of the restart when they conceded two more tries through their own mistakes.

A poor clearance kick led to the first, although there was little Saracens could do to stop Lamb's brilliant run as he side-stepped his way over, beating three players in the process.

Lamb then intercepted Neil de Kock's pass 60 metres out to race clear despite a valiant chase by wing Richard Haughton, and the conversion secured a bonus point with more than 30 minutes still remaining

But Gloucester were in no mood to show Saracens mercy, and a scintillating 60-metre attack ended with Vainikolo rampaging his way over.

Saracens couldn't escape though, and after lock Tom Ryder was sin-binned for a technical offence, Lawson sniped his way over, meaning that Gloucester had scored 24 unanswered points in 25 minutes.

It was breathtaking rugby, and although Saracens posted two consolation tries, Gloucester had more than done enough.


  • Saracens boss Alan Gaffney:
    "The play-offs are out of reach but there's still Heineken Cup qualification, so we've got to strive for a top-six finish."

    "The performances last weekend and this weekend were like chalk and cheese.

    "In the Heineken Cup quarter-finals we tore the Ospreys apart at the breakdown - this week, we just didn't compete."

    Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan:
    "I am very happy with that performance.

    "We have been top of the Premiership for most of the season, and we deserve credit for that.

    "We control the remainder of the season ourselves. Two of our last three games are at home, and we can control our play-off position. That is all you can ask for."


    Gloucester: Walker; Balshaw, Simpson-Daniel, Tindall, Vainikolo; Lamb, Lawson; Wood, Titterrell, Nieto, Bortolami (capt), Brown, Strokosch, Qera, Narraway.
    Replacements: Azam, Forster, Delve, James, Cooper, Paterson, Adams.

    Saracens: Scarbrough, Haughton, Sorrell, Powell, Ratuvou, Jackson, De Kock; Aguero, Cairns, Visagie, Vyvyan, Ryder, Chesney, Barrell, Skirving.
    Replacements: Ongaro, Johnston, Fullarton, Seymour, Rauluni, Ross, Penney.


    see also
    We are a step further on - Ryan
    10 Apr 08 |  Gloucester
    Gloucester focus on Premiership
    07 Apr 08 |  Gloucester
    Worcester 17-14 Gloucester
    29 Mar 08 |  English
    Saracens 66-7 Leeds
    30 Mar 08 |  English


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