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.