Round-up: Rose sends Saracens wild

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The Independent Online

A penalty try awarded by referee David Rose in the 72nd minute enabled Saracens to shade Gloucester 14-13 at Kingsholm yesterday and secure a wildcard semi-final home tie against Worcester next Friday.

A penalty try awarded by referee David Rose in the 72nd minute enabled Saracens to shade Gloucester 14-13 at Kingsholm yesterday and secure a wildcard semi-final home tie against Worcester next Friday.

The visiting pack camped out on the Gloucester line for a prolonged period during the middle of the second half, and it was no surprise when the whistle eventually went to confirm the penalty try.

Gloucester, making a dismal end to a league campaign during which they flattered increasingly infrequently and deceived no one in the end, also progress to the wildcard semi-finals and will entertain Newcastle next Sunday.

A series of drives put the home side in penalty range inside the first three minutes and when Saracens infringed Duncan McRae slotted the kick. Saracens bounced back with a determined counter-attack which was finished when Tevita Vaikona's long pass to Rafael Ibañez set up a try for Ben Johnston.

Nicky Little converted amid grumbles that the try had resulted from a forward pass, and it wasn't long before Saracens enjoyed more good fortune, when a McRae penalty bounced off a post.

An early second-half Saracens penalty was put wide, only for McRae to miss a sitter. When Andy Gomarsall took over he was also off target, so it was straight back to McRae and this time the Australian made no mistake following some fine Gloucester forward play.

This was the impetus Gloucester needed and James Forrester, on from the bench for Andy Hazell, found space to set up Olly Morgan for Gloucester's only try, which McRae concerted. Minutes later, Forrester was shown the yellow card and Saracens cashed in on his absence with a spell of sustained pressure which led to the crucial penalty try, which Glen Jackson converted.

The visitors continued to keep it tight and when a Gloucester kick was charged down Richard Hill had the chance for another try at the death. Unusually, the England and Lions flanker knocked on.

Bristol's last outing in National League One prior to their return to the Premiership resulted in a 16-13 win at Otley. Exeter, who prevailed 41-33 at Rotherham, finished runners-up, four points behind.

Ma'a Nonu, a likely thorn in the side of the British and Irish Lions this summer, completed a hat-trick to lead the Hurricanes to a 49-37 win over the ACT Brumbies in the Super 12 in Wellington yesterday. The centre, who has been known to wear eyeshadow on the field, crossed three times in 16 minutes as the Hurricanes climbed to third place with two rounds remaining.

The NSW Waratahs regained top spot with a convincing 41-20 win over the Highlanders in Dunedin.

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