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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.

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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.

St Mary’s overhaul Sarries

St. Mary’s Old Boys 30
Cheltenham Saracens 26

Saracens travelled to Trench Lane knowing November could be vital for the rest of the season, but were unable to come away with the desired result.

It took Saracens almost 20 seconds to open the scoring. A dropped pass by the St. Mary’s fly-half allowed Chris Plumb, returning from injury, to scoop up the bouncing ball and stride away, leaving defenders in his wake. The try was unconverted but Saracens lead 5-0 with less than a minute on the clock.

It didn’t take long for the hosts to close the gap, as a penalty against Sarries for offside in front of the posts saw Mary’s score three points of their own.

Sarries responded well to this penalty conversion and the backs set about probing the St. Mary’s defence. Confident fullback Will Hewer found pockets and after linking well with outside centre Luke Morgan, Sarries found themselves deep in the home side’s half. The Sarries banged on the door over and over again with Adam Geering eventually barging his way over. The try was converted with ease, aided by the wind, and Sarries stretched their lead to 3-12.

Less than ten minutes later, Sarries bagged another try. Chris Toye opened his scoring account for his new club after another dazzling run from Hewer. The fullback ate up metres on his run and a rather wild offload reached the tighthead prop who bustled over almost unopposed. Another conversion aided the Sarries cause, extending their lead to 3-19.

The home side closed the gap after a penalty struck the post and bounced back into play. Plumb kicked long and found touch to temporarily clear the danger, but Mary’s worked back up the field and chalked up another try in the corner, the angle proving too much for a conversion.

Mary’s had a try ruled out for a foot in touch, which saw the visitors breathing a sigh of relief. The strong Sarries defence held firm against the home side’s pressure with the score at half time resting at 8-19.

In a reverse of the first half, St. Mary’s started the second half stronger, grasping two tries in very quick succession but only one was converted. With ten minutes into the second half the score had changed to 20-19 in favour of the hosts.

They extended their lead ten minutes later after a quickly taken Sarries lineout on their own 5m line was spilled, allowing the onrushing Mary’s player to snatch the ball and gallop across the whitewash. The conversion made it 27-19.

Five minutes later they added to their mounting lead with a penalty, leaving Sarries two scores behind, 30-19.

A late flurry by Saracens saw the forwards pressure the home defence. With fans believing they had actually scored three times before it was given, they managed to add points to the board, and the easy conversion saw them close the gap to just four points – 30-26. However they were not given the chance to amount a comeback, with the conversion being the final kick of the game.

Outstanding performance by Pups

The Sarries boys were told at the team talk we were missing arguably some of our best tacklers, but to their credit not only did they meet the challenge, they surpassed expectations with a fine display coming out 24-0 victors.

The Sarries defence from the kick off was organised, disciplined and solid; whereas our attack was clinical, aggressive and flowing, and the pace set meant the opposition were always backtracking. But for a multitude of last ditch tackles from Thornbury the score could easily have been double the four try haul.

From the outset surging runs made by man of the match Kian were a fantastic sight paying back the coaches intuition by giving him the no.15 jersey. In addition to some crunching tackles in the middle of the field, he didn’t waiver when left as the last man.
Not bad for a lad who started playing rugby a matter of months ago!
The first of his two tries was scored by determination and pace that pierced the defence on 9 mins, stepping a couple of players and dropping a shoulder into a defender and diving over the line. Importantly it paved the way for the team to have faith in winning even though we had a skeleton squad of barely 16 with a few playing out of position.

The belief continued with the centres combination of Harry and Cole gaining quality yards every time the ball was span wide. Barring a couple of different decisions in the heat of battle they could have bagged a couple of scores each. Both keen to penetrate the defence they set up countless attacks. None the less, they would not have been in such space if it wasn’t for a near faultless display from Kean who bossed the game at ten with quick and decisive ball. He had a great game and really shone today. The wingers, Jaden and Taylor (The Ninja!), weren’t to be undone and threatened with some cracking runs of their own. A good defence by the Bristolians stopping at least two definite tries in each half.

Now, Lodgey and anyone who would listen to him… would have us believe it’s all about the forwards; and in today’s game he wasn’t far off the mark as strikes against the head by Tank (Thomas) were frequent, and in failing that, an 8 man drive stole the ball from Thornbury on numerous occasions at scrum time.
The backs gained most of their ball this morning from the endeavour and hunting nature of our hungry pack. In addition the lineout was always quick and accurate with quality ball supplied, and when spoiling was called for, the boys didn’t disappoint forcing the opposition 9 to make poor decisions under pressure.

A first half highlight was a 5mtr lineout front peel feeding back to Tank & was a joy to watch – bar a blade of grass on the whitewash, it would have been a training ground dream !

I’m not sure how but the first half ended with the Sarries only 7-0 up. Now the fear was that we would switch off as we had done in previous games.

However, we needn’t have worried as following stern words in the huddle the boys got hungry & gave the opposition even less ball in this second period. Charlie had another great game in attack, and defence, and the stealing from Leo, Adam and Ryan was great to see.

The forwards continued as they left off and it was evident when the decision to run a maul from an early line out we maintained the upper hand as territory was never hard to win with some good body positions and a surprised opposition in retreat.

The same power from our leg drive also saw off any resistance at many of the rucks with Sam Budge, Ryan and Toby bossing the game with some good dog along with clever thinking and quick hands from Adam and skipper Noah jackling like good back row were born to do. In fact every time there was a breakdown, the hunger from the lads came through and the chance of a steal was snapped up. It was from such a turnover around the 4th min and quick ball pickup saw Charlie mash his way through the Bristol defenders and there was only one winner from 10 metres out with a lovely try giving us a 14 -0 lead.

Of course without sniping runs and quick distribution from Fred, many of the attacks would have been thwarted early on, but a good sports brain and the fact he’s developing into one of those annoying scrum halves (cheers Pross..!) denting the oppositions defence with quick ball and good decisions from the boot or hand.

The next try followed just a couple of minutes later after a team effort from start to finish with a turnover ball scruffily won then smoothly distributed to the backs well worked and supported that used interplay between Harry and Jaden with Kian running a cracking line creating an overlap for his second.

With further changes seeing Cole leave the field and the pack rearrange to release Growler into the backs at centre where he showed us some of those quick feet he loves to use, more akin to Strictly (!) he had great change of direction and Guscott-ess in its effectiveness. In fact the last was scored by him but this was a shorter crash-through try, well deserved and capped a nice way to spend a Sunday morning.

Pups win battle over Bredon

Within three minutes of the start, Bredon put the first score on the board with a try, swiftly followed by another. With one of these converted, Bredon had the upper hand at 12-0.

This seemed to be the wake-up call that the Sarries needed who started to put their game plan into action. On the 22nd minute a try was scored by Joe which was converted by Keano.

Half time 12-7 to Bredon.

Sarries started the second half as they had finished the first with Kian scoring in the 39th. With the match all square at 12 each, Bredon stepped up the pressure again and put in two quick tries to lead 24-12.

Once again this kicked the Saracens into life who now started to play some outstanding rugby. Growler scored a try on 49 minute making the score 24-17 and then, in quick succession, Joel scored in the 53rd. Match all square again at 24-24. Joe and Growler added to their tally with Joe rounding off the match with a try converted by Keano. 

Final score Bredon 24-43 Saracens

Sarries seal home win

Cheltenham Saracens 22
Barts Rugby 6

Fourth hosted third as Cheltenham Saracens welcomed Barts Rugby to King George V.

Barts’ start to the match didn’t go as planned as they kicked off directly into touch and were then penalised at the scrum on halfway. From this, Saracens were allowed to control the opening stages, with all of the action being focused in the visitor’s half of the pitch, unable to clear the ball any further than the halfway line.

Eventually the pressure paid off for Saracens, returning a clearing kick, won a penalty at the ruck and kicked for touch. The lineout saw the maul set a good platform, allowing Adam Geering to receive a pass from the back of the pack and spin out of a tackle to crash over halfway between the posts and corner flag. Stand-in kicker, scrum-half Jack Medcroft was unable to convert and Sarries took a five point lead.

Barts responded physically and dug out short gains through their forwards before managed to claw a score back, slotting a penalty in front of the posts. This closed the gap to 5-3.

After tough phases from Barts, Sarries extended their lead after fullback Will Hewer returned a long kick with a winding run, before offloading to centre Luke Morgan, who in turn set up Hewer for another run. After Barts finally stopped Hewer, the quick ball from the ruck was enough to put the backs through with young winger Connor Anderson capping off the move, gliding over almost unopposed. Medcroft was again unable to convert but Sarries lead by 7 points.

The game ebbed and flowed for the rest of the half, with both sides exchanging possession and kicks. Barts were awarded a penalty for offside, but elected to kick to touch, ending the first half.

Half Time: Saracens 10-3 Barts.

Saracens piled on the pressure in the early stages of the second half, and after securing a penalty, Medcroft kicked to touch and put the forwards to work. The resulting maul set the platform again and the attack was ended by Luke Morgan, who stormed over in the corner for another unconverted try. Saracens now held a 15-3 lead.

Barts returned, determined to not let the gap extend and the hard, demanding phases through their forwards won a penalty. This was dispatched, and Barts doubled their score; 15-6.

Barts knocked-on from the restart, giving Sarries a scrum and this allowed the backs to run an organised move. Fullback Hewer, already having set up a try, put his own name down amongst the scorers, as he sold the defence a dummy and shrugged off a tackle to go over, but made sure to tap down right under the posts to make it an easy kick for Medcroft, who didn’t miss. Sarries now stood 22-6 clear of their third placed opponent.

Sarries could have bagged another in the dying moments, as two Barts players headed to the sin bin. However, despite camping themselves on the Barts 5m line, the hosts could not find a way through.
The game ended quietly, with both teams exchanging kicks, before Barts attempted a break away on the overlap but a knock-on ended their attack and the match.