Aviva Premiership: Saracens race away from 14-man Gloucester

Last updated: 16th September 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

NICK WOOD GLOUCESTER

Nick Wood: Was shown the red card in the opening minutes

JOEL TOMKINS SARACENS

Joel Tomkins: Scored the opening try for Saracens

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Saracens took full advantage of Nick Wood's dismissal to claim a crushing 44-12 victory over Gloucester at Allianz Park.

Prop Wood received the second fastest red card in Aviva Premiership history after stamping twice on the exposed head of openside Jacques Burger with just 73 seconds on the clock.

It left Gloucester facing the title contenders with 14 men for virtually the entire game and their resistance was always unlikely to hold up against a team which sits top of the table after two games.

Tries from Joel Tomkins, Schalk Brits and Billy Vunipola and two from David Strettle produced Saracens' second bonus-point victory in two matches, while Owen Farrell kicked 17 points.

After Wood's moment of madness, Gloucester sacrificed openside flanker Akapusi Qera to bring on Dan Murphy - the replacement prop needed to give his side a full front row - with centre Billy Twelvetrees slotting in at blindside.

Gloucester opened the scoring despite the disadvantage as Freddie Burns slotted over three points, but the hosts responded when Richard Wigglesworth's pass allowed Tomkins to raced home.

Penalty

Farrell converted and then slotted over a penalty, while Burns was on target with three points of his own as Saracens established a 10-6 lead.

Gloucester were able to find gaps and their frantic work at the breakdown was rewarded with successive penalties that Burns sent between the uprights to secure a 12-10 lead at the half.

But eight minutes after the restart Saracens had powered eight points ahead with Strettle's try doing most of the damage.

Taylor appeared to have run down a blind ally from a line-out but the ball was quickly spun wide with Tomkins' pass to Chris Wyles the telling moment, allowing the overlap to be exploited with Strettle diving over.

When No 8 Sione Kalamafoni was sin-binned for pulling down a maul, reducing Gloucester to 13 men, Saracens tightened the screw with a line-out catch and drive finished by substitute hooker Brits.

Farrell, who had earlier kicked a penalty, converted both tries and the bonus point would have arrived had Tomkins straightened the line before feeding Wyles, who was felled by Twelvetrees.

It eventually came with four minutes left, Vunipola forcing his weight over the line as Saracens' scrum surged forward, and Strettle completed the rout with seconds remaining, substitute Ben Spencer converting.

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