Premiership: Gloucester 34-19 Northampton Saints – Cherry and Whites ease to bonus-point win

Santiago Carreras with the ball for Gloucester
Santiago Carreras was try creator and try scorer for Gloucester against Northampton
Gloucester (21) 34
Tries: Singleton, Harris, Carreras, Balmain Cons: Carreras 4 Pens: Carreras 2
Northampton Saints (12) 19
Tries: Freeman 2, Ramm Cons: Smith, Furbank

Gloucester ended a run of three league defeats with a 34-19 bonus-point win over Northampton at Kingsholm.

Jack Singleton and Chris Harris scored either side of a double from Saints’ Tommy Freeman, before Santiago Carreras pushed Gloucester nine points clear.

Fraser Balmain then powered over and while James Ramm scored late for Saints, Carreras added two penalties.

Gloucester move above Northampton to fourth in the Premiership table, with Saints dropping to fifth.

Saints have now lost five Premiership matches away from home this season and won just one of their last seven trips to Kingsholm.

The visitors enjoyed all the pressure during the opening 10 minutes but were repeatedly let down when they pushed into the Gloucester 22, first miss-throwing a line-out, then getting turned over as they built through the phases and finally losing the ball to an interception five metres out.

By contrast, Gloucester scored at the first time of asking through Singleton, after Louis Rees-Zammit’s run made the initial line break.

Freeman edged Saints in front with two tries in five minutes, as they twice took advantage of gaps in the Gloucester defence on the wing.

Yet the match continued to see-saw when Harris retaliated, after Argentina international Carreras found space in behind to off-load to the Scot.

The Gloucester fly-half was then rewarded with his own try before the break, using his speed to cruise over between two Saints players, with the only downside for the hosts being the loss of of Singleton, who was stretchered off after a lengthy pause half an hour into the first half.

Northampton continued to waste chances to score after the break. Gloucester number eight Ben Morgan produced a try-saving tackle a few metres from his own line and Freeman was unable to collect a kick-through that would have seen him over.

When Saints captain Lewis Ludlum was sent to the sin-bin for an infringement at the breakdown, Gloucester capitalised instantly, scoring through Balmain from the ensuing line-out and driving maul.

Carreras added three points as the penalty count racked up against Saints, and while Ramm ran through for a try on his first Premiership start while Gloucester’s Ruan Ackermann was in the bin for a deliberate knock-on, it was too little, too late.

Carreras took his tally for the evening to 19 points with his second penalty to cap a night when Gloucester bounced back.

Gloucester head coach George Skivington told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

“I thought the boys were outstanding tonight. Our last Premiership game here against Newcastle we were obviously very disappointed with what we put out on the field, I think that’s probably the first time we’ve done that in a couple of years.

“The boys wanted to make a point and give something back to the supporters, make that right, really.

“They’re [Northampton] an outstanding attacking team, they’re the best in the league so we knew they’d play wide to wide and early on they caught us a couple of times. I think we were a little disjointed but we corrected that at half-time.

“Santi (Carreras) was great at 10, we were brave in the way we wanted to play and after a disappointing autumn international period for us in the Premiership we needed that.”

Gloucester: Evans; Rees-Zammit, Harris, Atkinson, May; Carreras, Varney; Rapava-Ruskin, Singleton, Balmain, Clarke, Alemanno, Ackermann, Ludlow (c), Morgan.

Replacements: Socino, Elrington, Knight, Jordan, Polledri, Chapman, Twelvetrees, Hearle.

Sin-bin: Ackermann (71 mins)

Northampton Saints: Furbank; Ramm, Dingwall, Hutchinson, Freeman; Smith, Mitchell; Waller, Matavesi, Hill, Salakaia-Loto, Moon, Coles, Ludlam (c), Augustus

Replacements: Smith, Iyogun, Petch, Ribbans, Scott-Young, James, Collins, Proctor.

Sin-bin: Ludlum (59 mins)

Referee: Ian Tempest.

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