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Saracens seek to upset formbook at Gloucester

Wednesday 4th May 2022

4:11 pm (GMT)

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Saracens seek to upset formbook at Gloucester

Gloucester hooker Santiago Socino, top try-scorer in the EPCR Challenge Cup this season

Saracens will need to overturn the record books if they are to reach their fourth EPCR Challenge Cup semi-final at two-time winners Gloucester Rugby on Friday night.

Gloucester have won their last six home matches against Premiership clubs in the Challenge Cup, while Saracens have lost their three away games against English opposition in the competition.

The tie at Kingsholm kicks off at 20:00 local time and will be televised live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.

Other key stats:

  • This will be the first meeting between Gloucester and Saracens in European competitioN.
  • Gloucester have won their last five matches against Premiership opposition in the ChallengeCup. They have not lost at home to an English club in the competition since a one-point defeat to Sale Sharks in the 2001/02 semi-final (27-28).
  • Gloucester have won their last three home knockout stage matches in the Challenge Cup, with their last two such victories coming against Premiership opposition. They have also won three of their last four quarter-final ties in the competition.
  • Saracens have won seven of their last eight games in the Challenge Cup (L1), including each of the last three in a row, scoring at least 40 points in each of those three matches.
  • Saracens have won four of their last five quarter-final fixtures in the Challenge Cup. However, they have lost all five of their previous knockout fixtures away from home in the competition.
  • Gloucester have made more kicks from open play than any other side in this season’s Challenge Cup (167). Consequently, they have also made more kicking meters than any other team in this season’s competition (5,020m).
  • Saracens have recorded the most possession (56%) and the most territory (62%) of any team to play more than once in this season’s Challenge Cup.
  • Gloucester’s Freddie Clarke has claimed the second most lineouts of any player in this season’s Challenge Cup (30). Teammate Lewis Ludlow has stolen three opposition lineouts this season, also the second highest figure.
  • Gloucester’s Santiago Socino is the top try-scorer in this season’s Challenge Cup (5), averaging a try every 55 minutes.
  • Saracens’ Callum Hunter-Hill has made 24 tackles without missing in the Challenge Cup this season, one of just three players to make 20+ tackles without missing any in the competition in 2021/22.

Key quotes:

Lewis Ludlow (Gloucester captain): “It’s another big one. Kingsholm will be buzzing. We’ll be up for it. We’ll be ready for it and the best team on the night goes through.”

Billy Vunipola (Saracens No.8): “It’s a massive opportunity for us to try and turn over a good team away from home. That’s what the Challenge Cup is about. We’re looking forward to it.”

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Saracens prove too strong Gloucester

Friday 6th May 2022

10:14 pm (GMT)

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Saracens prove too strong Gloucester

Jamie George goes over for Saracens' fourth try against Gloucester

Saracens booked their place in the EPCR Challenge Cup semi-finals as a storming performance saw them claim a 44-15 win against Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm on Friday night.

The three-time European champions, who will play the winner of Sunday’s clash between RC Toulon and London Irish, crossed through Aled Davies, Maro Itoje, Nick Tompkins, Jamie George and Duncan Taylor, with Owen Farrell kicking 19 points.

Gloucester fought valiantly and got over through Jack Singleton and Louis Rees-Zammit, but they were unable match an impressive Saracens side.

Visitors Saracens took the lead through an early penalty from fly-half Farrell, before scrum-half Davies dotted down on eight minutes after a brilliant line from prop Vincent Koch.

With Gloucester wing Ollie Thorley sent to the sin bin for a high tackle, Saracens extended their advantage through another Farrell penalty on 18 minutes.

Despite being largely on the back foot, Gloucester survived the period without conceding any further points, and just as Thorley returned, Saracens hooker Jamie George was yellow carded for another high hit.

And Gloucester took advantage as hooker Singleton dotted down at the back of a maul on half an hour, but Farrell added another three points to Saracens’ tally on 36 minutes as George returned to the fray.

The away side took an 11-point lead into the second half, but that margin was reduced on 44 minutes as Gloucester fly-half Adam Hastings slotted his only penalty of the evening.

However, Saracens wrestled further control of the contest as lock Itoje and centre Tompkins got over either side of a yellow card for Gloucester prop Val Rapava Ruskin on 49 minutes.

The hosts continued to demonstrate their class over the remainder of the game, George crossing with an hour played before replacement back Taylor intercepted and raced over.

There was a moment to savour for Gloucester fans before the game was up as wing Rees-Zammit gathered his own kick and produced an electric step to score a stunning consolation try for the hosts on 73 minutes.

But it was Saracens who caught the eye with an assured display which further underlined their title-winning credentials.

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