Author Archives: Eddie

1st XV v Longlevens 7th September

In the first of the Sarries v Longlevens home double-header, The Sarries started confidently. A turnover inside the home team’s 22, and some quick hands lead to a foot race between big Sarries winger Matt Williams and the Longlevens backs, but despite a determined chase, Williams powered over the 90 meters to score. 5-0 to the Sarries within the same number of minutes.

The Cheltenham side then struggled to find any flow in the remainder of the first half. A scrum against the head lead to the first away converted try, and then sloppy defence from kick chase gifted Longlevens to two further tries within a five min period. Despite some huge hits from Skipper Gareth Rogers and flanker Scott Rowe, Sarries failed to gain any momentum, with only a consolation penalty from Brad Harris adding to the score line. Half time score 22-8

Some honest words from the coaching team at half time re-galvanised the Sarries. Controlled by fly half Brad Harris, the team found their shape, with the forwards making inroads into the opposition defence to again unleash Williams on a half break up the midfield. A good offload nearly saw centre Jack Lawrenson away but for a last ditch tackle.

The Saracens continued as the dominating team of the half, disrupting set-piece and threatening the defence. A break by openside Shaun Meheran supported by his teammates nearly made the line, but was halted painfully short. It was by no means a one-team half. Longlevens continued to hammer the Sarries line, but narrow and wide, the defence held out. A penalty to touch put the Sarries into the opposition 22, and a fantastic driving Lineout put Rowe over to get the Sarries back on the score sheet. Then after a series of solid phases, a miss pass from Harris put prolific try scorer Sam Rimmer over in the corner, but unfortunately that was all the Sarries could manage. Despite threatening the Longlevens try line on a number of occasions, the team couldn’t convert prolonged pressure into points. Many positives to take into the same fixture next week in the league competition.

Writers MOM Scott ‘Venus” Rowe for the usual relentless work-rate in both attack and defence.

Final score Cheltenham Saracens 18 Longlevens 22.

2nd XV v Old Pats 7th September

Sarries 2nds succumbed to their worst defeat for a number of seasons to perennial cup final opponents old patesians.
The first half was a bruising affair with neither side able to gain the upper hand and cancelling each other out. Good runs by Hangar and Grayson kept the momentum up, ably supported by Lodge and Long, but stout defence and indiscipline kept the try line at bay. A Perks penalty was their only reward.

The second half was a different story. Sarries tried their hardest to keep pushing forward, but old pats made some shrewd changes and gradually wore down the defence.

Sarries were bemused by the referees’ decisions all day and were getting more and more frustrated by the minute, and indiscipline was costing them field position. Finally pats made the breakthrough from a contentious decision at a lineout.

With only 2 backs on the bench,the forwards were physically wilting under constant pressure at scrum time and around the park. Unable to secure good ball for their backs Sarries were on the back foot and Pats were surging forward at every opportunity.

Then the straw that broke the camels back. A defensive scrum saw the scrum halfs grappling on the ground,which led to the sarries scrum half being red carded…down to 14 men!.

Old Pats scored further tries to extend their lead against valiant efforts from the Sarries defence, further inhibited by Perks succumbing to a calf strain.

A good effort by Sarries who could have gone on to win if the first half performance was matched. With 2 players returning to rugby after a number of years away and disruptions to selection before kick off, the performance wasn’t as gloomy as the write up suggests.

MOM is difficult when on the losing side…Joe Prosser played well, as did Grayson, Arkell and Hangar. Ben Spurway and Dan Keyte stood up well despite not playing for a long time, but the award goes to the evergreen Pete Lodge…who was tireless in defence,attack and in keeping spirits up in adversity.

Final score Old Pats 27 Cheltenham Saracens 3

3rd XV v Smiths 7th September

Against a much younger looking side, Sarries were on the back foot for the first ten minutes. Smiths camped within the Sarries 22 and threatened to go over on more than one occasion. However, through defiant defence Sarries were eventually awarded a penalty which allowed them to clear their line. A battle then ensued in the centre of the pitch with no team being able to make ground. Smiths were the first to make a move and broke through to put the first five points on the board. The conversion was close but, from the referees stand point, not close enough.

The war of attrition continued until a surging run by Scrum Half Darryl Francis supported by Mike Knight and Rich Hobbs started to reveal some weaknesses in the Smiths defence. Sarries picked up their game and were eventually rewarded with a try from Ash Bailey which was sweetly converted by newcomer Chris Plumb.

More sustained pressure from the Sarries paid off and, with 15 minutes to go, a penalty was awarded on the 22. Plumb once again showed the accuracy of his boot. With the score at 10-5 Smiths suddenly came alive and kept possession for the remainder of the game. Once again stalwart defence prevailed until Smiths went through their hands to their man on the wing. He was certain to score but, just before he grounded the ball, he was heroically bundled into touch by Mike Knight. That tackle signalled the end of the game and a great opening win for the Sarries.

Writers Man of the Match was a close run race between Knight and Hobbs but the final tackle sealed it in the favour of Knight.

Final Score Cheltenham Saracens 10 Smiths 5

Old Boys Day at the Sarries

On the 14th of September there will be an Old Boys Day at the Sarries. The match will be CSRFC v Longlevens RFC. All are welcome and please bring along anyone that you know to support.