Premiership: Gloucester 28-23 Saracens

Gloucester (18) 28

  • Tries: May 2, B Morgan
  • Cons: Burns 2
  • Pens: Burns 3

Saracens (13) 23

  • Tries: Tomkins 2
  • Cons: Farrell 2
  • Pens: Farrell 3

Gloucester edged to a narrow victory over Premiership leaders Saracens.

The hosts held a 18-13 half-time lead, two Jonny May tries cancelled out Joel Tomkins' score, with Freddie Burns and Owen Farrell each landing three kicks.

Farrell's second-half penalty reduced the deficit but a superb solo try from number eight Ben Morgan, converted by Burns, put Gloucester further ahead.

With Dan Robson in the sin bin, Tomkins scored his second try but Burns' penalty made sure of the victory.

Saracens have already guaranteed a home semi-final in the play-offs, but will be disappointed not to go into next weekend's Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulon with a win.

With one game left to play, Gloucester remain fifth in the table but have now guaranteed themselves a European spot for next season.

Three is the magic number

Gloucester became only the second team this season after Leicester to score three tries in one Premiership game against Saracens

The Cherry and Whites showed their intent early on, going ahead through a fourth-minute Burns penalty before May cut inside full-back Alex Goode's weak challenge to cross over.

Farrell opened the visitors' account with a 35-metre penalty and 10 points in five minutes saw them take control. Tomkins executed an exquisite dummy before touching down, and Farrell converted and added another penalty.

But May swooped in for his second try, touching down after he collected Burns' kick into space, and the fly-half converted before kicking a penalty that gave Gloucester a five-point advantage at the break.

Farrell's boot cut the deficit to two points before Gloucester hit back in style thanks to Morgan, who went on a blistering angled run and touched down at the posts.

Burns converted, but Sarries immediately enjoyed a temporary one-man advantage when Gloucester scrum-half Robson was sin-binned for a professional foul.

They made the extra man count as Tomkins claimed his second try which Farrell converted, making it 25-23 with nine minutes left.

Gloucester stayed strong and the pressure was lifted when Burns kicked an injury time penalty.

Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies:

"We showed elements throughout our game today that we have seen bits of this season.

"If we become more consistent in certain basics of our game, then this team is very capable.

"The players were fantastic, the crowd was superb and everything came together.

"Heineken Cup qualification was one of the priorities at the start of the season, and we have also shown progress with this group of players."

Saracens rugby director Mark McCall:

"It wasn't maybe the performance that we wanted. Gloucester put us under some pressure from time to time.

"We gave away a couple of reasonably soft scores - some of our mistakes gave Gloucester their opportunities.

"Toulon is a huge challenge for us, and that is the only game we will talk about for now.

"There will definitely be things we can take from today's game. Sometimes you need some gentle reminders of what you are about and what makes you successful."

SATURDAY'S LINE-UPS

Gloucester: Cook, Sharples, Trinder, Twelvetrees, May, F. Burns, Robson, Wood, Britton, Knight, Savage, Lokotui, Kalamafoni, Qera, B. Morgan

Replacements: Murphy for Wood (51), Y. Thomas for Knight (65), Buxton for Savage (69), Hazell for Qera (64)

Not Used: D'Apice, Lewis, Mills, M. Thomas

Sin Bin: Robson (62)

Saracens: Goode, Wyles, J. Tomkins, Farrell, Strettle, Hodgson, Wigglesworth, Gill, Smit, Stevens, Borthwick, Hargreaves, Wray, Fraser, Joubert

Replacements: Maddock for Wyles (73), Taylor for Hodgson (54), Spencer for Wigglesworth (69), Vemicola for Gill (51), George for Smit (51), Nieto for Stevens (60), Kruis for Hargreaves (57), Burger for Fraser (15)

Att: 15,537

Ref: JP Doyle (RFU)