Category Archives: Archive Match Reports

2nd XV suffer home defeat to Coney Hill

Billed as the biggest game of the season the contest did not live up to the hype. The weather and marshalling of the day did nothing to help this scrappy affair.

Sarries II could not build on their dominance of the scrum offensively and defensively offering an ideal platform but lacked foresight and conviction in their attacks. Hill offered little themselves in attack but their outstanding 10 controlled the game with his mercurial boot spinning and turning the Sarries back line time and again.

All the points were scored in the first half with Hill running in a touch line try converted and penalty and Saracens notching a penalty on the close of the half.

Lloyd Arkell was excellent off the bench embracing his new found second row position. Peter Lodge was man of the match for his tireless work rate

Saracens 2nds 3 Coney Hill 2nds 10

Newspaper article here

Old Centralians III’s unbeaten run ended by Cheltenham Saracens III

Cheltenham Saracens III V Old Centralians III

‘Some days you’re the dog, somedays you’re the lampost’ were the poignant words spoken by Saracens stalwart Gary Short following their last encounter with Old Centralians, having suffered a heavy defeat.

The undefeated Old Centralians arrived at the KGV to be met with wet and windy weather conditions and a Saracens 3rd team detirmined not to be ‘the lampost’ again.

Early phases of the game suggested that may be the case with Old Centralians running and recycling the ball well. That pressure resulted in an early Centralians score, which went unconverted.

The visitors continued in the same vein for much of the first half, but the Saracens defence was well organised and ruthless in order to stave off wave after wave of Centralians attack.

The second half opened with more wind and more rain making life difficult for the lineouts and for any chance of fluent running rugby. Multiple handling errors from both sides resulted in a leg sapping amount of scrummaging on a pitch which was soft under foot to say the least.

A chip through from Saracens’ Bradley Harris was defiantly chased down by second row Lloyd Arkell who’s tackle resulted in a penalty given for Centralian’s full back holding on, on the ground. The quick tap was taken by Hywel James, catching the Old C’s defence on the back foot and then out pacing the attaempt at the cover takle, to score near the posts allowing Bradley Harris a simple conversion to slot through the uprights.

Following this the Saracens defence was once again called on, rebuffing rolling mauls and strong ball carriers on there own line. Good defensive organisation coupled with dogged detirmination preventing the visitors from crossing the try line.

Saracens pressure and torrential rain contributed to a Centrailians fumble and a lose ball which was pounced on by Bradley Harris who hacked it through allowing himself to flomp on the the ball over the try line for Saracens second try. He then prompt;y stepped up to miss the conversion.

The Saracens could have had a third score late in the second half from Paul Hewitt. A Cents kick through was gathered by Hewitt deep in his own half, he the proceeded to glide through several tackles and chip over the top, continuing the chase to touch down over the line. Unfortuantley for Paul following a fantastic show of pace and skill the referee dissallowed the try as he was unable to tell for certain whether he or the covering defender was first to touch the ball down.

Final Score
Cheltenham Saracens III 12
Old Centralians III 5

I would like to be able to highlight some special perfomances , but in tough conditions every single player player was worthy of special commendation. The highlights above were not indicative of a game that was hampered by the conditions and for the most part was tough, ugly rugby. A fantastic well desereved scalp for the men of the KGV.

2nds win physical battle over OId Richians

Saracens 2nds 48 Old Richians 2nds 8

The scorline does not reflect the physical battle offered by both sides on both the earlier league away fixture pre xmas and Saturdays double league win for Saracens second string. Richians are a young and determined side not easy to break down and brought their game early to the home side but Sarries weathered the storm with a very organised and chatty defensive line which frustrated richians and eventually turning over countless balls.

This was the pattern for the full 80 mins and, although Saracens game was not tactically well structured, their explosive counter attack game was outstanding. The backs combining throughout with sublime and unselfish off loads that brought a total of 8 tries. Jake Townsend rocking up with 23 points to his name 3 tries and 4 conversions, Louis Gilbert grabbed himself a brace and one a piece for James Barrett, Ed wiltshire & Ryan White on his return.

Coaches MOM this week for his hard work, physicality and quick distribution allowing the backline to flow on the front foot goes to Kyle Thomas

1st XV blitz Frampton Cotterell

Cheltenham Saracens RFC 52
Frampton Cotterell RFC 12

Following last week’s abandonment, Saracens returned to the field determined to make up the gap in the race for second, and they did exactly that.

Sarries opened their account early on as some strong running from lock Greg Prance and centre Jack Lawrenson saw an opportunity for new signing, Alex Jackson, to dive over in emphatic fashion. The conversion however, was not accurate, sailing just wide.Kris

And it wasn’t long before the Sarries found themselves on the scoreboard again as some good passing and running through the backs allowed Shaun Meheran to receive an offload and the openside flanker stormed through as the Frampton defence parted like the Red Sea. This time Harris slotted the kick to put Saracens in the lead 12-0.

In a flurry of action in the Frampton half, the visitors secured themselves a lineout. However, the lineout was spilt and the bouncing ball was pounced upon by flanker Jonah Manu who skipped past the defence and crossed the whitewash. Harris’ kick struck the post and bounced wide, but the Saracens remained largely in control, 17 points ahead.

DaveClub Stalwart Dom Richardson snatched the bonus point as forceful running from Gareth Rogers and David Fitzharris saw Saracens dominate through the phases, creating an overlap and the speedy winger glided over the line almost unopposed. Harris kept his cool and put an extra two on from the tee.

Frampton, desperate to get back into the game used their forwards to try and dictate the play but after some pressure on the Sarries defence, were unable to find a way through. The resulting five metre scrum saw the visitors anchor down and drive forward, eventually getting a try in the corner. The conversion was missed due to the difficult angle.

The first half remained a midfield battle with both teams applying pressure to the other but the score remained Saracens 24-5 Frampton

Whatever was said by manager Ross Nelmes worked well as the Sarries started at a frantic, dominating pace and debutant Jackson found himself on the score sheet once again, this time with Harris able to convert.
Buoyed by this early boost, the home side continued on with fast approach and pressure. This eventually paid off as soon after fly-half Brad Harris sold the dummy and broke free of the visiting defence to touch down. The kick in front of the posts was converted and Saracens were off the races, 38-5.

The visitors managed to claw their way back in, again through a scrum on the Saracens five metre line. Despite the scrum wheeling almost a full 180 degrees, the referee gave the decision for the penalty try. The conversion was kicked and Frampton were up to 12 points.JB

After the deep restart, Saracens found themselves right back on the Frampton 5m line. An attempted box kick was charged down by Tom Patience and Manu again was able to scoop up the ball and jog over. Harris converted to make it 45-12.

It took a bit of skill and strong running for the final try, started by substitute Kristian Williams. Williams made an immediate impact as Frampton were unable to deal with the colossal lock. This allowed for some creative champagne rugby from both the Sarries forwards and back as they ran their way from inside their own 20m area to the Frampton 5m line with flanker Manu chalking up his hat-trick in the final play of the match.

Harris made it a 7 point score from the tee and saw Saracens walk away with a dominant 52-12 victory.

IIIs triumph at Westbury

As Cheltenham Saracens III turned up to face Westbury II it was clear to see the game plan Westbury had in mind. With a narrow pitch and what seemed like 15 forwards on the paddock, it was going to be a heavy days work for the pack.

With tactical masters Paul Grayson and Darryl Francis at the helm the Saracens forwards worked hard and accurately to provide a decent ball for the backline to work there magic. The Sarries line out worked well with arrows from Wayne Smith and quick ball coming off Matty William jumping in the middle of the line.

Jonathan Crowford opened the scoring by running nearly the length of the pitch dancing through the Westbury defence. Greedy but we can forgive him as it was an excellent try.

Sarries scored again with a maul close to the line and the ball popped out to Matt Mudway who scooted over the line.

Westbury hit back early in the second half with a lucky penalty try off of 3 driving scrums on the Sarries line. The penalty was the 3rd given at the scrum within minutes, and saw Saracens flanker Luke Brown harshly sin binned.

Westbury took advantage of the depleted numbers by scoring a second forward orientated push over try shortly after.

Westbury did venture the ball out to there centres a couple of times in the second half with some strong line breaks only thwarted by some impressive cover tackling .

Chris Davies took the ball out wide and managed to chip and chase the ball to touch down over the whitewash.

Following fracas at the scrum new prop Omar was sin binned along with his opposite man. A tough but enjoyable day for the newcomer as he only made it to the game at half time due to navigational difficulties which saw him in Wales.

Mudway got on the score sheet again by selling a round-the world dummy Russell Morrison would be proud of, and scooting through the resulting gap.

A physical encounter mastered by a dogged performance by the Sarries pack and blistering pace out wide.

Some brilliant performances but MoM went to Jay Marriott, stepping into second row, around the park like a back row with some hard talking thrown in.

Cheltenham Saracens III 26 – 15 Westbury II