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RUGBY: What do you get when you combine Gloucester’s bonus point victory over Northampton

What do you get when you combine Gloucester’s bonus point victory over Northampton with the league’s weakest defense under the leadership of Santiago Carreras? After Gloucester’s Santiago Carreras tore their team to shreds at first receiver, Northampton Saints fans won’t want to read the punchline.

The Argentinian is a recent convert from outside backs, but after this performance, he will be signed at 10. With a 34-19 victory, Gloucester moved past Northampton from seventh to fourth in the table with one try, a hand in two more, and 19 points from the field.

The Saints had heard it before, and if it weren’t so frustrating, it would have been funny. They started the game with the worst Premiership record in some important metrics. Their recent struggles can be seen in the bottom of the log for points conceded, tries conceded, carries conceded, meters conceded and missed tackles per game.

They posed a threat moving forward. After Gloucester’s hooker Jack Singleton scored in the first half, the 21-year-old winger Tommy Freeman dotted down in each corner. Fin Smith, a flyhalf who was just 20 years old, made an impression by throwing simple passes and finding the direct runs of his centers and energetic back row.

However, when he and his teammates were asked to tackle, they failed

Smith was to blame for Carreras scoring just before the halftime break. Gloucester was awarded a scrum inside Northampton’s 22 after a careless kickoff. Ben Morgan shoveled it onto Carreras’ angle after picking it up at the back.

Overexcited, Smith charged wildly toward the line, only to be stepped on like he was knee-deep in porridge. He then missed a kickable penalty, ending the first forty minutes.

Despite Northampton controlling possession and territory, Gloucester went into the break with a 21-12 advantage thanks to Chris Harris’ earlier converted try following another linebreak by Carreras.
They would prevail thanks to some clever rugby over the next forty minutes.

They defended as a group, scrambling when it broke loose out in the open and remaining firm in the close combat, in contrast to their guests, who became increasingly agitated.
They were persistent on the ground, preventing Saints from moving quickly or stealing their possessions. At the breakdown, even prop Val Rapava-Ruskin won three crucial turnovers.

The competition was summed up in a single sequence at the hour mark. In the air, a Northampton line-out in Gloucester territory was taken. Johan Ackermann, the league leader in carried meterage, was given the ball again, and he jumped over the gain line. The home team won a penalty kick thanks to Northampton’s lack of discipline, which went into the corner. Gloucester earned their bonus point with two maul penalties, a yellow card for Saints captain Lewis Ludlam, and a burrowed try from prop Fraser Balmain.

Northampton broke down. Because of an early tackle, Juarno Augustus forfeited a penalty.The ball could not be held by anyone. George Furbank’s move to fly-half and Freeman’s move to full-back hooked Smith.

It had little impact. Northampton paid Gloucester back in kind even when they made a mistake. Gloucester reached the 30s thanks to a penalty kick from Carreras with 10 minutes left.
It could have been a game with Ackermann’s deliberate knockdown. At the ruck, Northampton had the ball within arm’s reach of Gloucester’s line. It emerged from the other end, holding Rapava-Ruskin in its arms.

James Ramm scored a try under the posts for a consolation, but Gloucester’s return to winning ways made it less than the Saints deserved. Carreras was entitled to the final say regarding the death penalty.

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