Category Archives: 2nd XV Match Reports 2016/17

2s narrowly miss out to Lydney

Sarries 2’s – 20,lydney 2’s – 24

On a cold crisp day Sarries lined up against Lydney rfc whose 1st xv ply their trade in the national leagues. Despite the need for uncontested scrums a highly entertaining game followed.

14918822_10154812152258304_102856266536431385_o The first 20 mins were somewhat of a stalemate as both sides battered at the respective defences relentlessly until eventually sarries slotted 3 points through the boot of fly half Hywel James.


The first try came through superb work from backs and forwards alike allowing Chris Wilkinson to scoot over in the corner…2 points added from fly half James.

Lydney applied pressure throughout as their influential midfield bore the fruit of their labour with a converted score….10-7 at halftime.

14976884_10154812152658304_7309749884816273661_oWith the wind at their backs at the turnaround the Lydney 10 utilised his howitzer of a boot to pin Sarries back and set up a line-out. A well worked move saw the Lydney centre slice clean through to score under the posts and make it 14-10 Lydney. Sarries hit straight back and worked up the field to set up Chris Davies for a barnstorming run which saw him smash over for a try…conversion missed, 15-14 Sarries.

Again the boot of Lydney’s 10 was key,forcing Sarries back and, allied with a few mistakes from the home side, allowed a penalty kick to be scored despite some outstanding goaline defence….17-15 Lydney.

14991409_10154812153088304_9182729011187046340_oSarries hit back almost immediately with a scrum taken at a penalty in the 22 setting up a ruck,giving the returning Junior Mcdaid a strong run towards the line to score…conversion missed…5 mins to play..Sarries up 20-17.

To both Sarries and Lydneys credit they never gave up and played hard till the end. A key lineout take by the impressive Lydney no.8 in the last 2 mins set up a maul from which the hooker drove over and scored…duly converted..24-20 Lydney.

A last effort by Sarries was thwarted by a simple knock on allowing Lydney to clear and win the game.

A good team performance with lots of positives well led by skipper Craig Roberts. A good performance from everyone with notable performances from Sean Bisset, Ryan White and our new Aussie Ethan nn the forwards, and Matt Mudway, Damien Freili and Jack Kerr the pick of the 3/4’s…….however writers MOM is Hywel James who controlled the game in both attack and defence and was a constant threat to Lydneys well marshalled defence.

Special mention must go to Jay Marriott who put on the shirt of Lydney to ensure a 15 vs 15 game was played and to his credit played superbly.

Smallman leads 2s to victory

Cheltenham Saracens 2nd XV 36
Old Richians 2nd XV 28

In decent conditions, Sarries second string took to the field against fellow yellow and blue outfit Old Richians.

acThe game started with a frantic pace, with Sarries’ defence stopping the visitors with ferocious tackling. From spilt lineout, Richians set phases. The strong defence stole the ball at a ruck and kicked long. The Richians fullback’s returning run was stopped early and Sarries won a penalty at the resulting ruck. Scrum-half Joe Prosser tapped and weaved his way through the defence, offloading to Ryan White who crashed over. The kick was not converted and Sarries lead 5-0.

Minutes later Old Richians equalised after some lazy Sarries defending. Captain, Wayne Smallman, almost saved the try but was unable to drag his opposite number far enough away from the try line. Richians’ kicker kept his cool and dispatched the kick for an extra two and the visitors went ahead 5-7.

Richians restarted well, receiving Sarries kick, and their forwards went to work, hammering the Sarries’ defence. The physical approach worked well and the constant, patient phases helped Richians to another five points. A pick-and-go going over just left of the posts. The kicker slotted the kick and Richians extended their lead by nine, 5-14.

ac3Words were said under the posts and Sarries came out looking to close the gap. With the lineout not functioning properly, Sarries had to make the best of the possession they had and Smallman’s pace had a big effect as he outpaced his opposite man but had gone alone. A Richians hand on the floor at the ruck spared Saracens blushes, and a tap penalty followed by good hands saw Smallman glide over after leaving two defenders in his wake and tapping down under the sticks. Latchford converted easily and Sarries trailed by only two.

Not long after Richians extended their lead, as Sarries, expecting a penalty, switched off allowing the visitors to chalk up another score. The Richians kicker kept his cool and made it 12-21.

The teams exchanged possession in the late stages of the first half, as it ground down into a midfield battle.

Half Time: 12-21

Coach Mike Pitman made changes at half time, and it made a big impact. Hooker Aaron Connolly struck against the head before a Sarries offload gifted possession away. The Sarries forwards stole it back at the ruck and Prosser again fed the backs and Smallman added to his total, leaving the defence behind him for a converted try. 19-21.

ac1Nobody from Sarries claimed the Richians kick but then visitors knocked-on when setting the ruck. The solid Sarries scrum gave the backs a platform for the backs and a well worked move saw captain Smallman claim his hat-trick, going over again in the corner and managing to get under the posts again to give Latchford an easy kick. The Sarries fly-half converted and Sarries converted to make it 26-21.

Sarries made waves following the restart and some lazy running from Old Richians allowed Latchford to add three more points to Sarries total.

Richians were allowed to close the gap as lazy defending and small mistakes allowed the visitors’ winger to go for a run, leaving Latchford on the floor with a sharp turn before gliding in under the posts. The conversion was simple and the score sat at 29-28.

Ed Hampshire had the last laugh, after the two sides exchanged kicks and turn overs. The centre ran a great line and received an offload, with his momentum breaking a tackle as he made his way under the posts, rounding the fullback. Latchford made it a seven point score, 36-28.

The dying moments of the second half saw Sarries pressuring again with a big hit from Frieli stopping any chance of a Richians score. The Sarries went on one last attack but Richians turned it over and kicked to touch, ending what had been a fantastic match.

2s make it a double against North Bristol

Cheltenham Saracens 2nd XV v North Bristol 2nd XV

First dry game of the year and both Saracens sides were keen to make the most of the dry weather and use the pace they have been training at. North Bristol also turned up early and were very well prepared.

From the kick off by Sarries, it was clear who was going to dictate the tempo of the game with an excellent pressure d, Sarries forced a penalty under the posts 3-0 converted by Edward Hampshire. From the return kick off hard lines were ran back at NB and from a very powerful scrum Rich Coleman trundled over not converted. 8-0 to the home side. Not far after the skipper Wayne Smallman found some room out wide and a mismatch got round then scored under the posts and converted. 15-0. The tempo slowed slightly as Sarries came off the gas for 10-15 minutes which allowed NB too come into the Sarries’ 22 and work a try through missed tackles. The home side regrouped and worked back a try from a loose NB scrum which Joe Prosser scooped up before the half time whistle 22-7.

The second half started in a very similar fashion. Full pressure in defence and attack forced errors from NB who could only kick over the Saracens defence. After a to and fro kicking game, a return from Chris True carved the defence like the parting of the red sea, scoring easily under the posts, 29-7. The next try came from the Skipper from a well worked training move. With good hands, Smallman was allowed to pick and go from a quick ruck to score under the posts, 36-7. Exactly like the first half Sarries let up slightly and allowed a very controversial try (possibly held up by Basher Cresswell) however Darryl Francis allowed it and it was converted 36-14. The skipper had the final say. Working with a champagne style of rugby passing allowed him to run clear of the NB defence and score under the posts unopposed. Final score 43-14.