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Gloucester too strong for Northampton

29 Nov 2003
Gloucester too strong for Northampton

The home side got off to a great start, signalling their intentions early on when speedy winger Marcel Garvey crossed for the first points of the day in the third minute. Inside centre Henry Paul added the two points to give the 'Cherry and Whites' a 7-0 lead.

Saints lock Rob Hunter crashed over in the 18th minute, with Shane Drahm converting the score, but a Paul penalty put the hosts ahead again, before Drahm drew the scores level in the 28th minute with his second penalty of the day.

That penalty seemed to spur the visitors on as they began taking the ball through some phases, which eventually culminated in a try for Northampton's All Black No.9 Mark Robinson. Drahm again added the two points, giving his side a 17-10 lead at the break.

The second half got off to quite a slow start before James Simpson-Daniel, who missed out on selection in England's Rugby World Cup squad, ran in a try in the 50th minute – with Paul again adding the conversion – before Trevor Woodman, who was part of England's RWC squad, barged over for his side's third try.

Paul missed the conversion, but it was enough to put his side into a 22-17 lead with just over 15 minutes remaining in the game. With Northampton still scoreless in the second stanza, however, a penalty from Paul gave them an eight-point buffer at 25-17, with Drahm chipping away at the deficit with a penalty in the 76th minute.

At 25-20, it was still anybody's game, but Paul put his side out in front with a penalty on the stroke of full-time, ending the match at 28-20 in the home side's favour – a crucial win, if ever, after three successive losses.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:Tries: Garvey, Simpson-Daniel, WoodmanCons: Paul 2Pens: Paul 3

For Northampton Saints:Tries: Hunter, RobinsonCons: Drahm 2Pens: Drahm 2

For more news, try out Gloucester Rugby v Northampton Saints

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