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Chesney try sets up late win for Sarries

18 Feb 2007
Chesney try sets up late win for Sarries

Saracens recorded a sixth home win on the spin as a last-gasp Kris Chesney try stole a crucial 24-22 win over Guinness Premiership play-off rivals Gloucester. Chesney, who only this week signed a new two-year deal with Sarries, crashed over after a number of desperate phases near the Gloucester line.

The try tied the scores, leaving Jackson with an all-important conversion to win the contest, from which the Saracens number 10  made no mistake, nailing his effort with what proved to be the last kick of the game.

Both sides adopted a similar stance in the club-versus-country debate that has raged all week by including their fit England internationals.

Sarries had Andy Farrell at centre, while Gloucester fielded Olly Morgan at full-back.

Despite their lofty league position, Gloucester entered the game on the back of three successive away league defeats, which showed as they struggled in the opening 10 minutes.

Saracens were rewarded for their strong start with an early try from Kameli Ratuvou.

A flowing back-line move saw full-back Dan Scarbrough hit the line at pace and he offloaded for flying Fijian Ratuvou to dive over in the corner.

Although Glen Jackson missed the conversion, he was on target minutes later with a simple penalty to extend Sarries’ lead.

Gloucester struck back on their first visit to the Sarries 22.

An overthrow at a defensive line-out allowed the Cherry and Whites to steal possession and Ludovic Mercier flipped the ball inside for lock Alex Brown to bulldoze his way over.

Jackson then missed two kickable penalties and Saracens were made to pay when Mercier kicked Gloucester into the lead with a simple penalty.

For the next 20 minutes, the game became heavily bogged down in the centre of the field and it needed the boots of Jackson and Mercier to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Firstly, Jackson struck after James Forrester was yellow carded for killing the ball at a ruck but Mercier hit back soon after to regain Gloucester’s lead.

The second half began in much the same vein as the first, with the contest descending into a forward battle.

In fact, the most notable highlight of the second 40 minutes was the sight of Farrell packing down in the Saracens scrum after Fabio Ongaro had been yellow carded for killing the ball.

Jackson and Mercier shared four penalties as the half wore on, with the visitors maintaining their slender lead.

As the minutes ticked away it was Gloucester’s pack who were exerting the pressure and Mercier was again to the fore, adding a further three points after yet another Sarries offence at the breakdown.

As the Cherry and Whites looked set to claim a crucial win, Chesney finally converted wave after wave of Saracens pressure to seal a memorable home win.


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