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Billy Burns backs Cheltenham Saracens to bounce back from Longlevens defeat in Gloucester Premier


Billy Burns backing Cheltenham Saracens







Gloucester’s Billy Burns is urging Cheltenham Saracens to bounce back from their defeat away to Gloucester Premier rivals Longlevens.  The fly-half has been giving a hand coaching the King George V club this season alongside his Premiership and European commitments.

Following a set-back in their push for a second-place finish, Saracens return to action at home to Hucclecote next week after a mid-season break.

“Obviously the weekend just gone was a massive disappointment for the players and management alike,” Burns said. “We knew full well going into the game that Longlevens were a good physical side with some good pace out wide and they had what it took to cause some damage.”

“Credit to them – they stuck to their game plan and caused us problems. We couldn’t quite get ourselves back into the game.”

“As a management team, we have decided to give the guys the weekend off so we can get some good training sessions in before we head into a tough run of games.”

And Burns has been impressed by the senior team’s durability despite coming up short at Longford Lane last weekend. “The reaction from the players has been brilliant with good numbers turning up to the gym on Tuesday night and the boys hungry to right some of the wrongs from the weekend,” Burns continued.

“The boys are working hard to prove to our supporters and themselves that the weekend just gone was just a blip in what has been a fairly successful campaign so far.”

“Hopefully with the week off the guys will be fresh and raring to go when our next league game comes calling.”


Cheltenham and District Combination Cups fixtures announced

The 2016 fixtures for the Cheltenham and District Combination Cups have been announced and they are listed below:

For the Senior and Junior Cups, all evening games are due to kick-off at 6pm, with Saturday games at 3pm.


Game A: Cheltenham (Home team) vs Cheltenham Saracens (Away team)
Date: April 6

Semi Final 1 – Game B: Tewkesbury (Home team) vs Cheltenham North (Away team)
Date: April 20

Semi Final 2 – Game C: Old Patesians 2 (Home team) vs Winner of Game A (Away team)
Date: April 21

Final: Winner of B (Home team) vs Winner of C (Away team)
Date: May 7


Game A: Smiths (Home team) vs Gloucestershire Police (Away team)
Date: March 29

Game B: Old Patesians 2 (Home team) vs Cheltenham Sarcacens 2 (Away team)
Date: March 30

Game C: Cheltenham North 2 (Home team) vs Bredon (Away team)
Date: March 31

Semi Final 1 – Game D: Winner of A (Home team) vs Winner of B (Away team)
Date: April 12

Semi Final 2 – Game E: Winner of C (Home team) vs Cheltenham 2 (Away team)
Date: April 19

Final: Winner of D (Home team) vs Winner of E (Away team)
Date: May 7


Game A: Tewkesbury 2 (Home team) vs Cheltenham Saracens 3 (Away team)
Date: April 13

Semi Final 1 – Game B: Smiths 2 (Home team) vs Norton (Away team)

Date: April 27


Long battle results in defeat against longlevens

Cheltenham Saracens RFC 14
Longlevens RFC 17

Sarries travelled to Longford Lane hoping to keep track with those chasing for the play-off place.

The Sarries tried to start with speed, with charging carries from Jonah Manu, David Fitzharris and Gareth Rogers. Overall however, the match started slowly as both teams attacked and defended well, cancelling the other out, while the heavy pitch and wet conditions made things difficult. But it wasn’t long before Saracens opened the scoring, tapping over a penalty from almost in front of the posts.

Longlevens replied well however, securing a penalty in the Sarries half and using it to set phases which eventually lead to a try from the backs. The conversion was missed as the kick couldn’t reach the posts, Longlevens lead by 5 points to 3.

Saracens didn’t respond well to this set back and and eventually it was Longlevens on the score sheet again, with the forwards maul driving from the penalty lineout pushing the visitors back. This time in front of the posts the try was converted to put Longlevens 12-3 ahead.

The half turned into a midfield battle much as it had started, before a penalty by Sarries was kicked into touch. The resulting lineout saw the Sarries pack drive Longlevens over. Harris was unable to convert but Sarries saw themselves within four of the hosts at half time.

Sarries attacked well in the starting minutes of the second half, and the pressure eventually paid off. Poor discipline at the ruck saw an early Harris penalty converted to bring the visitors within a point, 12-11.

Sarries maintained their pressure and discipline and eventually took the lead through the tee of Harris again, a two point lead this time 12-14.

Longlevens managed to score a runaway try in the corner, arguably against the run of play. The conversion was missed due to the difficult angle, leaving Sarries just 3 points behind.

Sarries were unable to secure the ball following the restart which allowed Longlevens to run out the clock with forwards’ phases before knocking the ball out of play.

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

Archie Nelmes: ‘Cheltenham Saracens ready for Longlevens’


Archie Nelmes

After a great win last Saturday against Frampton Cotterell, Cheltenham Saracens are ready to face Longlevens – one of their old rivals.

Manager Archie Nelmes said: “We are fully aware that, if we don’t show Longlevens the respect that’s needed, we could come unstuck.

“Levens were in our league a few years back and stopped us from winning the league. However the Sarries players are in a different place now mentally and physically and are using that energy to hopefully put that wrong right this Saturday.”

“We made some changes last week with Jonah Manu moving from centre to the back-row and he gave us some serious firepower and scored three tries.

“James Butler started at nine and orchestrated our game plan very well with new signing Alex Jackson combing very well with inside centre Jack Lawerson.

“We have three games in hand in the Gloucester Premier on Berry Hill who are nine points the difference sitting in the play-off spot, but we are slowly closing the gap. We are taking every game and every point at a time.”

Read newspaper article here