Saracens 15-15 Gloucester

Owen Farrell
Farrell is expected to make his England debut this year

Fly-halves Owen Farrell and Freddie Burns landed five penalties apiece to record the first Premiership draw of the season for both sides.

Amid shocking conditions Farrell was on song three times in the opening half hour after Burns had drawn the scores at 3-3 on 10 minutes.

The Gloucester man then pulled three points back before the break.

Burns then twice got Gloucester level with his final kick sailing home with three minutes left.

The reigning Premiership champions were forced to switch Farrell to fly-half at the 11th hour after Charlie Hodgson's wife gave birth to his third child in the early hours of the morning.

And under the watchful eye of England's interim head coach Stuart Lancaster, Farrell did his international aspirations no harm although he did miss an early shot at goal in the driving rain.

Jim Hamilton's infringement in front of the posts gave Farrell an easy chance to redeem himself three minutes later.

Burns then landed his first attempt from wide on the left but Farrell made it 6-3 on 18 minutes.

Both teams looked to play some expansive rugby but the weather meant handling errors were common.

Burns lined up a kick from inside his own half but steered the ball wide and Farrell made him pay again soon after.

The Cherry and Whites stand-off attempted to even out matters with a drop-goal just before the break but was unsuccessful.

The visitors tried to take the game to Sarries but the hosts' s defence was too strong and aside from the kicking dual between the two number 10s there was little action of note in the second half.


Saracens rugby director Mark McCall:

"The remarkable thing is that Owen rarely misses two kicks at goal in a row. When he misses, the next attempt usually goes over which is the sign of a top-class kicker.

"He did a very good job in very difficult conditions, and while we were always on top, we were unable to pull away from them.

"There were always going to be errors in such difficult conditions and both side made them.

"Burns also kicked very well, but when you add up those errors they tend to prevent you building momentum."

Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

"I think we can take a lot away from the game, in terms of how astute you need to be around the contact area.

"Our scrum was good. Nick Wood was outstanding - it amazes me that he has never been considered for higher-up honours.

"It wasn't pretty but we played under difficult conditions. We've got the result and we'll move on."


Saracens: Goode; Wyles, Powell, B Barritt, Short; Farrell, Stringer; Gill, George, Stevens, Borthwick, Botha, Brown, Saull, Wray.

Replacements: Brits, Smit, Nieto, Kruis, Melck, Spencer, Mordt, Taylor.

Gloucester: Morgan; Sharples, Trinder, Tindall, Simpson-Daniel; Burns, R Lawson; Wood, S Lawson, Harden, Buxton, Hamilton, Strokosch, Qera, Narraway.

Replacements: Cortese, Murphy, Chistolini, Deacon, Cox, Lewis, Mills, Voyce.

Referee: Sean Davey (RFU)

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