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2nds fly the flag at Stroud

Stroud 2nds 8 vs Chelt Saracens 2nds 26

With players travelling back home to the nether regions of the country it had a huge effect on the availability on all 3 of the Sarries sides this weekend. But the rally call went out and the One club Ethos was answered to make sure the club rightly honoured all 3 league fixtures.

A very young Stroud side impacted the game from the outset and we’re quick to run in the first score in as many minutes as the 5 for the score, unconverted. A massive warning and tactical thought process was required from the much changed Sarries side and was as simple as dominating the contact area, Set piece and the sublime Marcus Latchford tactically kicking in behind the Stroud backline for the rest of the 75 remaining minutes a real master class that left Stroud exasperated and frustrated. Stroud were now starting to give penalties away and with Latchford driving a forty yard penalty down to just outside the home sides 22. With the lineout throw gathered Sarries rock solid 8 unit trundled the Stroud 8 right up to the 5 metre line before the maul collapsed Sarries recycled the maul to quick fire rucking and after drawing in the Stroud back line the ball was span through the hands and flanker Dean Hobbs crossed the whitewash to level the scores. Latchford stepped up and added the 2 to nudge the visitors in front 5-7 but under no illusions they were in for a battle royal. Stroud clearing thier heads ventured some expansive rugby and forced themselves deep into the Saracens half and we’re awarded a penalty for their efforts which was despatched to squeeze them into a one point lead and calm their frustrations 8-7 Stroud. Saracens were now in the zone though and had worked out how to take it to the home side with the rolling maul gaining serious yardage on every occasion and on one carry the 8 drove over the home sides line and Junior McDaid dotted down and with Latchford again adding the conversion Sarries closed the half 8-14 up.

The second half was a carbon copy of the first Sarries frustrating Stroud time and again and controlling the game cleverly and as in the first half with every penalty given to Sarries did opt for the touch finder and unstoppable maul and on Two of these trundles it was McDaid to be in the driving seat at the back to claim the spoils and a hat trick Latchford also getting a hat trick of conversions adding Two more points and Saracens RFC with a very solid away win at Stroud 8-26.

Coaches MOM not easy as could be the whole 15. Martin Prosser’s work rate, physicality and management top notch, Will Hewer consistently solid each week, Marcus Latchford precission and seems unusual not to award a hatrick hero, but McDaid was slightly Eclipsed by Tom James who was a real force to be reckoned with and gave everything for the cause Quality!!

Sarries make it four wins in a row against Hucclecote

Cheltenham Saracens made if four wins on the bounce in Gloucester Premier with a solid 20-5 win over local rivals Hucclecote, a fixture where only a couple of points usually separate the teams.

Three tries secured the win in colder than usual conditions, but a good quality pitch and the wind dying off just before the kick-off made for an entertaining game.

Saracens dominated their Gloucester counterparts from the off, with solid defence stealing opposition yards, and a firing forward pack turning ball over regularly at the opposition set piece.

Saracens attacking structure was on form, forwards eagerly making themselves available to carry the ball in, making space for the backs out wide.

Threatening the line on numerous occasions to be judged held up, it was very much the Saracens in control of the game. Continuous pressure proved too much in the end, when a penalty was awarded and Hucclecote punished for three points by former player Brad Harris.

With intelligent kicking, Saracens continued to play in the right areas of the pitch, and it wasn’t long after a period of strategic phases that fly-half James Butler showed incredible strength to see off five defenders to wrestle over the line, which Harris duly converted. Another Harris penalty made the half time score 13-0 to the visitors.

The second half continued much the same as the first. Continuous pressure, from the awesome Sarries pack, was more than the Hucclecote defence could handle.

The devastating runs from substitute winger, Jonah Manu, strengthened the impact further.

Collecting the ball from deep and leaving a trail of yellow and black shirts in his wake, he never failed to make ground, and came inches short of crossing the whitewash on a number of occasions.

Captain James McMahon was also left frustrated, collecting from the base numerous times only to be judged held up.

The turning point of the game came after sustained attack from the home side on the half way line, a battering by the Saracens defence allowed Harris to get on the front foot and collect a looping pass from the opposition fly-half for an easy run in under the posts, converting it himself for a personal tally of 15 points against his old club.

Credit must go to Hucclecote, who’s attack from depth, especially on turnover and kick receipt was more effective than most teams in the league.

This combined with accurate kicking often turned the Sarries, and paid off giving them territory from which to attack from, and in the last 10 minutes, rewarded them with an unconverted try.


Sarries 2s maintain winning streak

Saracens 2nds 34 V’s Longlevens 2nds 17

This was to be Sarries second strings toughest game of the season to date. It was a strong and decently balanced outfit that popped down the Golden Valley under the leadership ship of powerful centre and captain Yorke.

It was the visitors whom hit the ground running and for the next 10 minutes it was all the Glos outfit running in a fine converted try 0-7 Levens. This time last year Saracens would not of had the temperament or unshakable belief of their abilities to weather such a rugby storm but believe they do and a halfway barnstorming run from Lloyd Arkell was not to be denied and trigger the next 70 minutes of first team level entertaining rugby unconverted 5-7.

Connor Patrick McDaid was up next for the home side capping of an excellent all round game from 15 Latchford again narrowly missing the extras and keeping the game tense at 10-7.

The second half belonged to the men of KGV opening up from every quarter and every player the off loading from hand and floor was done at pace and power and although Longlevens defended superbly Sarries were not to be denied and further scores came from Ryan White a brace, and Harry Lodge our very own quade cooper finishing off some unselfish handling from the back division.

There are countless contenders for MOM this week, John Welsh setting s serious weekly standards as player and captain. Chris ‘Dubs’Windley excellent 80 mins display at 2 countless balls against the head, turnover in the loose superb. The evergreen Peter Lodge was pumped up and showing every bit of knowledge and nouse that’s respected by all. The half back pairing of Louis Gilbert & Marcus Latchford was rock steady and guiding all game. Russell Thomas Morrison show and go followed by a stage perfect bow to the bench a winter warmer. But this week’s MOM has got to go to Ryan white outstanding at loose head in set piece and bagging tries week in and out like a good in form winger Quality display Ryan.

2nds create mayhem against Tewkesbury

Saracens 2nd,s 107 V Tewkesbury 2nd,s 0

It’s not easy to score 100+ points you need to hold your shape, be unselfish, stay very basic and let the ball do the work and for 80 mins and getting their absolute just rewards Sarries second XV did exactly that running in 19 tries.

Jake Michael Townsend opened the floodgates within 2 minutes of play scooting in after some slick hands through the backs unconverted one nil the backs. The forwards not to be undone were the next to strike with a 5 metre push over scrum try James Thomas at 8 dotting down. Tewkesbury made an error of judgement calling for uncontested scrums giving the very lively Sarries pack a licence to exert scrum time energy into run time. In between the serious business of a league campaign there was time for a Youtube comedy moment when Chris Wilkinson broke free down his touchline only to be hounded down in defence by Saracens ex player Martin Vanzeals rather large labrador dog and, although he crossed the try line and placed the ball down, the Ref ruled it out saying the Dog had blocked off Tewkesbury tacklers.

It was on the 75th minute mark that Sarries hit the 100 point mark with Louis Gilbert taking the honours with a well deserved try for his excellent all round performance. On a proud and personal note I stood applauded the whole squad what an achievement.

Try scorers –
Jake Townsend 2
James Thomas 3
Kierran White 2
Ryan White 1
Marcus Latchford
Paul Hewitt 3
Wayne Hopson 1
Paul Jones 1
Louis Gilbert 1
Harry Newman (Beaver) 2
Conversions –
Marcus Latchford 4
Paul Hewitt 2
Chris Wilkinson
Russell Thomas Morrison

The whole sqaud needs to be acknowledged but you will always get stand out performers on the day and players of note the White twins tries, countless yards gained and rock solid in D. Wayne Hopson excellent work rate throughout capped with a try. Harry Beaver a very wisened old head on young shoulders and a brace of tries to cap a very fine performance. Paul Hewitt starting at 13 was again consistently outstanding bagging a hat trick of tries. It’s a close call for MOM between Lou Gilbert and JT as they simply ran the show control and game management was excellent. But the coaches MOM on the historic day goes to JT simply “Quality”

Sarries continue their march up the table

Frampton Cotterel 0 v 38 Cheltenham Saracens

For the first time this season, Saracens had an almost full roster of players to select from. Based on how well all teams have been performing in recent weeks, this made for an exciting prospect.

Preperations were slightly tainted, with a last minute venue change and hurried warm up, but this did not deter a Sarries side with the top quarter of the table in the sights. Dominating most aspects of the game from the off, the forward pack made inroads into the home territory with line-out drives and carries off 9. Penalty opportunities at goal were turned down in favour of kicks to the corner, and often paid dividends. It wasn’t long before Chris Read grounded for the first.

With the momentum in Saracens favour, points quickly built with Centre Jack Lawrenson crashing over from short range from a quickly taken penalty. The home side were gifted a lot of possession and territory by Saracens indiscipline, but tue defense held strong with the ever present Tom Wilkinson and Aaron Connolly slowing and turning ball over. Continued pressure resulted in another attacking lineout with Shaun Meheran grounding the ball on the back of the drive. The half time aim was to gain the try bonus and keep the opposition to nil.
Playing into the wind and up the hill did nothing to slow the visitors, and the scoreboard mounted once again. From fly half, James Butler controlled the game with ease, pinning the opposition back and orchestrating strikes. Controlled phases resulted in tries for both Hywel James and Chris Plumb on either side of the pitch. A further try from Gareth Rogers sealed the victory on a very solid performance from the Cheltenham Saracens, whose defense never once faltered. Brad Harris scored the conversions.