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Cherry and Whites overwhelm Saracens Cherry and Whites overwhelm Saracens

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Cherry and Whites overwhelm Saracens

Gloucester laid down a huge marker on Saracens ahead of their Aviva Premiership Rugby rematch in a fortnight at Kingsholm by thrashing the Londoners in the LV= Cup.

The Cherry and Whites, beaten finalists in the competition for the last two years, were never troubled as they made up for a surprise loss at Newport Gwent Dragons nine days earlier with a clinical destruction.

Saracens, who drew with Northampton Saints in their first cup fixture, looked uninspiring all game, although their tight eight at least worked hard.

However, the visiting backs failed to breach the home defence to any significant degree which, along with their handling errors, compounded the frustration and added to their undoing.

As such, Gloucester took advantage, with wing Charlie Sharples benefiting from a neat move across the line which led centre Henry Trinder to put the nippy flyer in from 20 metres for the opening touchdown of the afternoon.

Two attempted penalties from Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell, son of former Great Britain rugby league legend Andy, and opposite number Tim Taylor – who converted Sharples' try from the touchline – went astray.

But Gloucester were not to be denied more points for long. Samoan centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, a thorn in Saracens' side all afternoon, found a gap to put former England wing James Simpson-Daniel away on the left.

Simpson-Daniel evaded two attempted tackles from Ben Ransom and David Strettle before stretching out to touch down as flanker Andy Saull successfully caught his legs.

Farrell landed a penalty for Saracens when home skipper Luke Narraway was sin-binned for consistently killing the ball.

However, after Taylor had landed a penalty, Farrell, who struggled in his position, threw a pass to midfield which was intercepted by centre Henry Trinder. The youngster sprinted 75 metres to the line which, with the conversion, gave the Cherry and Whites a healthy 24-3 lead at the break.

Trinder's second try of the day, after Simpson-Daniel picked up a loose ball in his own 22 and ran 60 metres before setting up his centre, gained Gloucester a bonus point.

And a rumbling drive from a line-out saw hooker Olivier Azam emerge from a pile of bodies for a fifth touchdown.

Saracens, led by ex-England captain Steve Borthwick in the second row, looked shell-shocked but at last picked themselves up and found some spark on the hour.

Home prop Nick Wood became Gloucester's second player into the sin-bin when referee Tim Hayes pulled out the yellow card for constantly not binding properly at the scrum.

Moments later, a move across the visiting backs saw replacement James Short find a gap between the centres and wing on the right to nip over.

But continuous ruck infringements when within sight of the home line dragged Saracens' momentum down again as Gloucester resurrected their chances of reaching the cup knockout stages for another year with a much-needed group win.

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