It’s not often I go to watch my team and come away glad they weren’t nilled! This was a celebration of a good season for Gloucester at their famous Kingsholm Stadium. Gloucester had a torrid season in 2020-2021 they only won 7 of the 22 matches played, I’m in one of their fan groups on Facebook, Gloucester Rugby is My Holm, there was angst and despair aplenty last season. This season has been so much better, before this match they’d won 12 from 23 and still had an outside chance of finishing in the top 4. They’d also scored 631 points compared to the 450 in 22 last season.

Saracens had secured a home play off and the 23 travelling to the West Country reflected that in great part. I did find it ironic to see the suggestion that Mark McCall telling the Saracens site/fans they wanted to keep the momentum going as the team headed into the play off. Realistically I’ll be surprised if more than 5 feature in the 23 next week, so that’s somewhat negated.

On to the rugby, I’m a fan of stats, but the figures in this game certainly don’t reflect the result, they do, to be fair reflect the effort both teams put in, Gloucester scored 8 tries to Saracens 1. Yet the possession went 52% Gloucester 48% Saracens and Territory Gloucester 49% Saracens 51%. For all of the points scored by Gloucester this was also a game of great defence by them, they put in 162 tackles to Saracens 124. Two key stats are Gloucester’s 14 clean breaks to Saracens 3 and the 9 restarts lost by Saracens to Gloucester’s 2.

Yes there were the rolling maul tries which have become something of a Gloucester move this year, but there was also plenty of running rugby. The best of the 8 for me was the ball kicked through by Flanker Jordy Reid, Louis Rees Zammit was there to storm up the field to touch the ball down in spite of the best efforts of Elliot Obatoyinbo. I do hope that, added to his own try and general play around the field got him the man of the match accolade.

I’m going to list the Gloucester try scorers, there were that many of them!

  • Jack Singleton
  • Jordy Reid
  • Santiago Carreras
  • Jack Singleton
  • Ollie Thorley
  • Santiago Socino
  • Louis Rees Zammit
  • Jack Clement

A good mix of backs and forwards there, I also really enjoyed Thorley’s try, a player I’ve liked for a while he seems to have bulked up without losing any of his considerable speed.

There was something to shout about for the visiting Saracens fans Max Malins scored a try on 59 minutes, it was a shame to hear a few boo’s from the crowd, overall the day was a happy, good humoured one, not something that always happens at Kingsholm as a Saracens fan, perhaps that’s because we often play there on a Friday evening.

As an aside, Tim Swinson saw a yellow card for a high tackle, a card that took an age to decide upon, but one that was right. Elliott Obatoyinbo at 15 had a great game, he’s had difficulty under a high ball at times this season, but he took most of what was sent his way today, and generally got battered, he’ll be sore tonight!

I imagine the morale of those in the Saracens 23 was also battered at Kingsholm today, but hopefully they’ll be able to look at it as a learning experience. Had Northampton Saints lost today I imagine they’d have been more than annoyed at the team sent to Gloucester, but they kept their fate in their own hands and will travel to Leicester next week. Gloucester ended their 2021-22 season on a high and go into next season with high hopes of a top 4 finish.

More photos to follow

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