Saracens 24-25 Gloucester: Late heartbreak for Sarries as visitors end wait for StoneX win

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Saracens were beaten at home by Gloucester for the first time since 2008 in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday.

The 25-24 triumph was secured by the visitors despite a spell of Sarries pressure that saw them notch 14 points with two Gloucester players in the sin-bin during a part of the first-half.

Fraser Balmain, Jack Singleton and Lewis Ludlow all scored tries for Gloucester alongside Adam Hastings two penalties and two conversions, before a late missed conversion from Alex Lozowski guaranteed their win.

Saracens outscored their opponents in terms of tries, touching down four times through Dom Morris, Rotimi Segun, Theo McFarland and Alex Lewington. However, while Lozowski added the extras for two of those he also missed a simple conversion - prior to his late effort which went wide - which ultimately proved costly.

The first 15 minutes were scoreless as both sides favoured the aerial route to make progress without having much success before Gloucester opened the scoring.

They turned down two kickable penalties in favour of driving line-outs and from the second they were rewarded when Balmain secured the touchdown.

Gloucester were buoyed to have picked up the opening score but their elation turned sour by conceding a try and losing two players to the sin-bin within a minute.

First Santiago Carreras was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on before Morris crashed over with visiting captain Ludlow then sin-binned for coming in at the side in an attempt to prevent the score.

Gloucester had little chance of containing their opponents with 13 men and it came as no surprise when Segun took advantage of the opening spaces to dart past two defenders for Saracens' second try - both of which were converted by Lozowski.

Carreras returned in time to see his side respond straight from the restart. Maro Itoje failed to gather and the ball ran loose for Jordy Reid to burst away and send former Saracen Singleton over.

Gloucester were once again impressing with their driving maul and in an attempt to stop one of them, Mako Vunipola was yellow carded for collapsing, but Saracens managed to hold on for a 14-12 interval lead.

The visitors could not capitalise on Vunipola's absence but following the prop's return, Hastings regained the lead for his side with a straightforward penalty.

McFarland then replaced Tim Swinson for Saracens and the Samoan made an immediate impact by charging down Charlie Chapman's clearance to put his team back in front.

Lozowski surprisingly missed a straightforward conversion but the home side still held a 19-15 lead going into the final quarter. However, with eight minutes remaining, Gloucester scored the decisive try when Ludlow finished off another line-out drive.

Hastings converted and added a penalty before a splendid solo effort by replacement Lewington gave Lozowski the chance to snatch victory for Saracens but his kick was just off-target.

We are massively disappointed and it pains me to say it but Gloucester had more energy and appetite.

"Today against of one of the leading sides in the Premiership was a real test for us to show where we are at,” said Gloucester attack coach Alex King. “You've got to play smart rugby against a side as efficient as Saracens and our kicking game today was spot-on.

“The most pleasing part of the game was how we managed the sin-bin period. Going down to 13 men could have seen the game go completely away from us.

“Games will smack you in the face at various times but it's how you respond to that is what matters and today was a really important win for us.”

Sarries director of rugby Mark McCall stated: “We are massively disappointed and it pains me to say it but Gloucester had more energy and appetite for the fight. They were tremendous today and it's a club on the up who showed terrific spirit.

“We were off today and our ill-discipline gave them too many opportunities to use their driving line-out, which was a huge weapon for them. It's a big lesson for us today but we've now got a week off so we'll have a think about what happened and hopefully learn from it.”

Additional reporting by PA Media.

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