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Gloucester U18s fell short in a tight contest against a physical Saracens side at Kingsholm

Saracens took an early lead as they managed to gain possession from their kick-off and ship the ball out to their second row who carried it over the line.

Gloucester started to make ground and move the ball with a handful of impressive carries coming from prop, Ellis Allen. However, a dominant Saracens maul turned the ball over and gave the visitors a boost that led to two more tries.

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The first of the two was a well-executed line out which moved into a back’s set piece allowing the Sarries inside centre to dive for the line. The next was a cross-field kick received out on the wing and scored mid-tackle.

Saracens converted one out of their three early tries leaving them with a 0-17 lead before Gloucester began making a comeback.

Solomon Shand made a fantastic turnover to apply pressure on Saracens who began to make errors. Taite Fortey placed a great kick to touch, and the Cherry and Whites opted for a driving maul from the line out. Gloucester we’re almost over the line as Saracens were penalised for collapsing the maul meaning, the home team were awarded a penalty try. 

Gloucester ran a smooth play where inside centre Harry Tovey popped the ball to outside centre, Jack Hopson. Hopson ran a brilliant hard line that took Gloucester right up to the whitewash. A long ball out to the wing was deliberately knocked on by Saracens giving Gloucester their second penalty try of the game and leaving the half-time score, 14-17.

Gloucester began the second half well with a strong carry from Jonno Balding bringing them close to scoring. However, Allen was held up over the line after he received a tip pass from Balding. 

The boys continued their hard work from the goal line dropout and regained their ground with a line out on the 5m. Fantastic decision-making from Ruben Cummings and James Lilwall as they made the decision to go blind from the back of the maul.

Cummings made a dominant carry over the line not needing the support option from Lilwall. Fortley then slotted the conversion giving the home team the lead.

Saracens answered back quickly by feeding the ball out to their winger who managed to weave around a few tackles before getting over the line. The conversion was good.

The young Cherry and Whites worked hard defensively with a fantastic contest in the line out by Balding. Cummings snatched a Saracen’s pass and carried the ball 20m while bumping off a couple of defenders.

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