Cheltenham Saracens 4’s 12 – 20 Westbury 2’s

For the second week in a row, Cheltenham Saracens were able to put out 4 strong teams, and the 4ths travelled over Westbury on severn for a hotly anticipated fixture.On a fairly waterlogged pitch, the game started slowly, neither team willing to back down from the fierce contest between the forwards. The conditions meant that a return to “up the jumper” rugby, and with plenty of experience in the Saracens pack with Terry Beaver, Gary Short, Maurice Chapman, this suited them perfectly. Within the first 10 minutes, the Westbury pack had conceded 2 penalties in the rucks. Without a recognised 10, Saracens were unable to convert these into points. Before long, Westbury had gone over to put the score at 12 – 0 with ten minutes of the first half left. Saracens were soon able to swiftly reply, with an inspired interception from Natan Gilbert who ran the length of the pitch to go over underneath the posts.

The second half started much as the first with the the conditions leading to handling errors on both sides. Westbury converted an early penalty, and drove over in the corner to take a lead of 20-7, but still the Saracens fought on.
It was left until the last play of the game, with a well worked backs move that took the ball within 5 metres of the try line, and took a brilliant pick up from Nathan Gilbert again to double his try count and leave the final score at 20-12.Overall, the conditions helped in making this a good old fashioned forwards game of rugby, and the Saracens 4’s are beginning to come together even more to show the threat they will have in the rest of the season. There is a good mix of old experience and fresh faces willing to put their bodies on the line for the club, the trait of a true Saracen.

Writers man of the match has to go to Nathan Gilbert with his brace of tries, and outstanding tackling in the open.

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