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Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 14-12 Northampton Saints

Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 14-12 Northampton Saints

Gloucester Rugby snuck a late 14-12 victory against Northampton Saints in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

A try at the death from replacement second row Gerbrandt Grobler, converted by Billy Twelvetrees, saw them clinch a battling win – robbing Saints of their unbeaten record in the competition.

Earlier scores from Piers Francis and Cobus Reinach looked to have done enough to secure a win for Saints.

Matt Banahan registered the other try for Gloucester in the first half, as they took home the spoils from a scrappy match in tricky conditions.

Man of the match

Gloucester number eight Freddie Clark took home the award for his powerful display.

He helped guide the pack as they piled the pressure onto Northampton at the death – with it paying off as Grobler scored right at the end.

Clark helped carry the ball as the forwards continued to pile into their opposition as they made their way closer and closer to the line. He made sure the side kept cool heads as they drove for the score to achieve victory.

Moment of the match

The noise at Kingsholm when Grobler’s last-ditch score was confirmed. Referee Greg Macdonald had stopped play, expecting to go back for a penalty.

But he and TMO Keith Lewis conferred for a few moments before seeing Grobler had clearly touched down. Much to the joy of the home crowd.

Gloucester had threatened to take it over the line for more than five minutes but Northampton’s desperate defence had managed to hold them off.

Try of the match

Cobus Reinach’s breakaway try just after half-time was one he started and finished. The South African scrum-half gathered a slightly overkicked high ball inside his own half.

He raced free of a tackle and off-loaded to winger Tom Collins.

Collins dinked the ball down the line and Reinach was first to it, winning a foot race with Gloucester full-back Jason Woodward.

He kicked the ball on before diving on top of it to complete the score.

What they said

Gloucester’s number eight Freddie Clark: “We tried to go to our set piece. Our line-out wasn’t really working in our favour and we couldn’t gain the maul so we went to the scrum.

“We could not get much front foot ball, but we had patience and we dug in at the end, even though the ref was a bit sceptical to give it.

“Coming in at half time we did not talk much about what we were going to do but the boys dug in at the end. Fair play to Northampton’s defence – they kept us working.”

Gloucester’s scrum-half Willi Heinz: “It was pretty tricky, a really greasy ball and in the first half a gusty wind, which died down in the second half.

“It was challenging and we were probably pretty untidy at times. Hopefully going forward we can improve on that.

“We’re trying to build our consistency, which has been lacking in Gloucester Rugby in past seasons. Wins like that when you do win ugly are important for us and will be massive for going back into the Premiership.”

Northampton’s director of rugby Chris Boyd: “We’re disappointed to have lost at the end and frustrated, I can’t complain about lack of effort.

“We were a little bit untidy at times at the back end there and they have managed to score that try and sneak over the top of us.

“We didn’t build enough pressure. I was way more proud of our second half performance then the first half. I thought we didn’t manage the game well down-wind or down the hill [in the first half].

“We had to show a lot of guts in the second half, try and put them off their game and it came down to a couple of interesting calls.”


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