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Mercier boot keeps Gloucester clear

02 Feb 2003
Mercier boot keeps Gloucester clear

However, the win may still cost Gloucester, with Saracens coach coach Wayne Shelford saying he is considering citing Gloucester centre Robert Todd for a tackle which apparently concussed his skipper Kyran Bracken.

Bracken, a former England scrumhalf, left the field after 11 minutes, following a collision between himself and Todd. Referee Ashley Rowden penalised Todd for the tackle, but took no further action.

Shelford told the British Press Association that he would look at the video and consider citing Todd if his captain had suffered concussion, as seemed the case, as a result of the tackle. Braken will have to sit out for a mandatory 21-day rest period if it is indeed consussion.

"It is probably concussion with Kyran – and we will probably cite the guy if it is," Shelford told PA. "We will have a look at the video, and then make a decision."

In the end Gloucester outscored Saracens by two tries to one to earn four valuable points and stay clear (on 56) of the victorious Sale Sharks (48) and the improving Leeds Tykes (43).

Saracens started like a house on fire and after just three minutes had a 7-0 lead, courtesy of a Richard Hill try and the conversion by Nicky Little.

Ludovic Mercier temporarily narrowed the gap to 7-3 in the seventh minute with a penalty, but two penalties (11th and 18th minutes) by Little saw the gap increase to 13-3.

The visitors dominated the next 20 minutes and tries by Terry Fanolua and Mercier, both converted by Mercier, saw them take the lead (17-13) for the first time.

But a little penalty in the 40th minute made it 17-16 at the break.

Saracens temporarily regained the lead with a Little penalty (44th minute), before Mercier replied with one three minutes later (20-19 after 47 minutes).

Mercier kicked a drop-goal in the 55th minute, before Little replied with a penalty in the 56th minute. But Gloucester had the final say when two Mercier penalties (71st and 80th minutes) sealed the game.

The scorers:

For Saracens: Try by Richard Hill. Nicky Little kicked one conversion and five penalties.

For Gloucester: Tries by Terry Fanolua and Ludovic Mercier. Mercier kicked two conversions, four penalties and a drop-goal.

For more news, try out Saracens v Gloucester Rugby

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