RUGBY

Tim Taylor praises ‘unbelievable grit and effort’ in Gloucester Rugby’s win over Saracens

Gloucester Rugby maintained their undefeated record at Kingsholm with a giant killing of league leaders Saracens. The Cherry and Whites came from behind to win 23-17 against a strong Saracens side.

Attack coach Tim Taylor praised his team’s effort to pull off a victory of this magnitude. “The grit and effort the boys put out there today was outstanding. Especially in that first half to keep them out from scoring, the defensive effort was brilliant because we didn’t have the ball in attack. It showed them how solid our defence was to make them go to the drop goal that they missed. The effort throughout the whole 80 was incredible.

“Saracens are a quality side and we knew how tough this challenge was going to be, to come from behind to beat them was just brilliant grit.”

Gloucester had to soak up most of the pressure in the first half, and did well to limit Saracens to just three penalties and 9-3 lead at half time.

“We couldn’t get the ball in the first half to put up any sort of attack, but in the second half we came out and played with no fear and put some great stuff together. The message at half time was to just go out there and play with ambition. We know that if we get the ball, keep the ball and be patient with it and execute the breakdown and see if we can challenge their defence because they hadn’t really had much to defend before that.”

Taylor also praised the replacements for the role they played in changing the game.

“Ben Vellacott came on at 9, and Val (Rapava-Ruskin) in the front row and James (Hanson), everyone bought great energy and good discipline and that’s what you need from your bench, its crucial. I think the boys that started put in a great shift and it was great to see the boys come on and give us that energy in defence and attack to finish off the game strong.”

One replacement who changed the game was Ben Vellacott who replaced Willi Heinz at scrum half and his pacey play bought the game to life. With a superb catch and step he started the move which led to Ollie Thorley’s try.

Taylor heaped praise on the young scrum half saying: “Ben gives us a special impact off the bench and even when he starts he plays well but he brings that energy he’s very quick. He covered some excellent chips in behind and he also he kicked well when asked and put in some good tackles too. He’s done a great job tonight.”

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Vellacott is certainly making a name for himself as a replacement and the perfect player to mix things up from the options Willi Heinz brings the team.

“Ben’s always had that impact to his game, and he’s just got to keep working hard with Willi, who’s got that to his game as well. He’s scored some great tries from support lines this year too.

“The good thing about our squad is whoever plays, whoevers on the bench, no matter what, they back each other 100% and it’s good to see.”

Gloucester have pulled off some great victories so far this season beating Exeter, Saracens, Northampton Saints and Bath. They now sit in 5th in the table with the club looking to push on and assert themselves as consistent performers. In previous seasons’ it has been the away form that has been the let down for Gloucester, they travel to Newcastle Falcons on Friday night for a key game to show they can perform away from the Shed and to push for the top four spots in the league.

“That’s our goal, in the Premiership every game is tough, there’s no easy games, its just important we prepare mentally every week and we get our process right each game and that should take care of the results.”

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