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Highlights & Report | Saints topple Saracens in opener.

Huge results for Saints.

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Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images

Northampton Saints kicked off their Gallagher Premiership campaign with their first win at Allianz Park in three years as they defeated reigning champions Saracens in a see-saw season opener.

In a back-and-forth contest that saw the lead switch six times, Saints scored three tries before the break – David Ribbans, Rory Hutchinson and Henry Taylor all crossing the whitewash – with Saracens only able to send Matt Gallagher over in response.

But the boot of Ben Spencer kept the home scoreboard ticking over and though neither side crossed the whitewash in the second forty it was ultimately a James Grayson penalty that secured the win at the death for Saints. 

Saracens wasted no time getting their first points of the Premiership season – with Spencer knocking over a penalty just two minutes in – before the scrum-half added a second on the 15 minute mark.

But Saints responded well and charging runs from Taqele Naiyaravoro, Alex Coles and then Paul Hill got Saints into Saracens’ 22; and after a period of pressure on the tryline, the men in Black, Green and Gold came away with the first try of the game – David Ribbans the man over the line in his 50th appearance in Saints’ colours.

Grayson made no mistake with the conversion to put Saints ahead, but the lead was short-lived as another Spencer penalty swung the scoreline back Saracens’ way. And the home side stretched that lead just a minute later as Ben Earl snuck through a gap and fed Matt Gallagher for the score.

An important turnover from Coles in Saracens’ territory got Saints back on the front foot though and with Northampton working their way up the pitch, Hutchinson spun and stretched over the line for Saints’ second of the match. 

Grayson’s conversion brought the game back within two and Saints were soon back on the scoresheet again. After scooping up loose ball in their own 22, Grayson hacked the ball downfield and with Collins in chase and Taylor on his shoulder, the wing offloaded to see the scrum-half score Saints’ third against his former side – again Grayson converted and the away side entered the changing room five points in front.

Saints were denied a George Furbank try by the TMO after the break though, and Spencer sent another penalty through the posts to close the gap to two points. Spencer and Grayson exchanged another penalty each before the Saracens kicker added another from the tee to see the home side lead again.

But the scrumhalf’s eighth kick came off the post and when the chance came for Grayson to line up for the sticks in the game’s final minute, the 21-year-old sent the ball sailing through the uprights to see Saints secure their first away win over Saracens in three years.

Match Highlights:

Report from Saints


Premiership

Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors will not go ahead as planned

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Gloucester Rugby

Following confirmation from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) that Worcester Warriors have been suspended from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Gloucester Rugby’s Round 3 fixture versus the Warriors – scheduled for Saturday 1 October – will not go ahead as had been planned.

The Club awaits further information as to whether the fixture is cancelled or postponed and will update supporters as soon as possible thereafter.

Our thoughts go to Worcester Warriors players, staff and supporters following the news of their suspension from the league. We hope to see them return to the Premiership again soon. 

Open training this weekend

In absence of a fixture this weekend, Gloucester Rugby is opening the gates for supporters – regardless of whether they have a ticket to the Worcester fixture – to come and watch the first team train, followed by a signing session. 

Attendance is free although supporters will need a ticket for entry – simply click here to get yours.

Gates will open at 12pm with the training session running from 12.30-2pm. Following the conclusion of open training, a signing session will take place pitch-side, while Saracens v Leicester Tigers, live on BT Sport from 3pm, will also be available on the screens in the Stowford Press Clubhouse.

Next up at Holm

Bristol Bears will visit Kingsholm on Saturday 15 October and it promises to be a game not to miss! Tickets are available now from just £25 for adults and £15 for children. Click here to purchase.

For any enquiries please email [email protected]

Content & Images from – Gloucester Rugby


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Premiership

Club Statement

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Worcester Warriors submit request for DCMS to appoint administrators

Worcester Warriors can confirm that WRFC Trading Limited, the company that owns the Worcester Warriors Premiership rugby club, has today asked DCMS to place the club into administration.

DCMS will now apply to the court to appoint administrators.

As negotiations with possible investors have still not led to critically-needed funding, administration is seen as the best solution to safeguard the interests of the business and ensure the best chances of a solution that saves the club.

It is hoped that this course of action will help to bring forward interested purchasers who may be able to preserve the club.

Once appointed, administrators will communicate with staff, supporters, partners, sponsors and creditors about timescales and processes to seek a purchaser.

Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham said: “We are grateful to DCMS and Sport England as the Covid19 loan Programme Manager for accepting our request to place the club into administration.

“Both the club and DCMS will continue to co-ordinate efforts to find a rescue for the club if there is any possibility of it being saved.

“The administrators will assess any rescue options for some or all of the business as and when offers are made, while ensuring public funds are protected.”

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Premiership

RFU issue statement on Worcester future

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RFU Statement: Worcester Warriors

The owners of Worcester Warriors have not met the RFU’s 5pm deadline to evidence insurance cover, availability of funds to meet the monthly payroll, and a credible plan to take the club forward. 

The RFU has therefore suspended Worcester Warriors from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Allianz Premier 15s, U18s Academy Cup and Allianz Cup with immediate effect.

Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO said;

“We appreciate this is incredibly difficult news for fans, staff and players.  We would like to thank the staff and players who have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to enable matches to continue.

“We met with players and staff last week to explain why this action would be necessary and regrettably without assurances in place we have had to take this action to protect everyone’s best interests. 

“We hope a buyer can be secured to allow Worcester Warriors and The University of Worcester Warriors to return to professional league rugby.  While it is the responsibility of each business owner to manage their individual finances, we will look at learnings from this situation to see what regulation can be put in place to provide all parties with more financial transparency.  Rugby is a relatively young professional sport and it has been widely recognised that clubs have been facing financial challenges even before Covid. 

“Successful professional leagues are vital for the wellbeing of the whole game.  They inspire current and future players, delight fans by showcasing high skill levels and the exciting nature of our game. This is why it is so important that we continue to work with Premiership Rugby to improve the structure, governance and business model of rugby union in England.

“The RFU will continue to support community rugby in Worcester and is fully committed to ensuring local academy opportunities are provided for pathway players.”

The RFU will work with Premiership Rugby and DCMS to establish next steps for the club and what this will mean for the Gallagher Premiership, the men’s Academy and Allianz Premier 15s competitions.


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