Gallagher Premiership semi-final: Saracens beat Gloucester as Nick Tompkins stars

Nick Tompkins of Saracens
Nick Tompkins of Saracens

Nick Tompkins scored a hat-trick of tries as Saracens overwhelmed Gloucester 44-19 in their Gallagher Premiership semi-final at Allianz Park to storm to within one win of completing the double.

The European champions crushed the league's third strongest team in a six-try rout headlined by Tompkins to seal a fourth appearance in the Twickenham final in five years.

Tompkins replaced hamstring injury-victim Brad Barritt in the 32nd minute and helped himself to three second-half tries as Gloucester fell apart.

The rot had set in during the second quarter, however, when they repeatedly failed to deal with the precision of Saracens' kick-chase game while their own attacks fell apart through self-inflicted errors.

Sean Maitland, Ben Spencer and Liam Williams also touched down to heap embarrassment on an outclassed Gloucester, who gained some scoreboard respectability with a flurry when the game had already been lost.

The head-to-head between rival England fly-halves Owen Farrell and Danny Cipriani never came to life due to Saracens' dominance in all areas and Eddie Jones, who was watching from the stands, saw nothing he did not already know.

Two tries in five minutes launched the semi-final in thrilling fashion with Gloucester the first to strike through Ben Morgan in the right corner, but the try owed everything to sharp running lines and midfield ingenuity of Cipriani and Billy Twelvetrees.

Saracens replied immediately when Farrell directed a perfectly-weighted kick behind the defence for Maitland to collect and touch down.

Farrell cost his side 10 metres for protesting over a decision made referee Luke Pearce, stating "I'm only talking to you, ref", but Gloucester were turned over time and again to cost them a string of promising positions.

England hooker Jamie George had overcome an earlier shoulder injury but Saracens lost their captain just before the half hour mark when Brad Barritt hobbled off.

It failed to knock the European champions off their stride, however, as Itoje produced a sublime show and go to buy a few extra crucial yards before sending Spencer darted over under the posts.

Gloucester, who had lost lock Ed Slater to injury, continued to shoot themselves in the foot in attack with poor handling now the shortcoming and with five minutes left in the first half, Saracens had cantered out of sight.

Successive box kicks moved them upfield and when Alex Lozowski won the second and sped forward, Williams was on hand to score in the right corner.

And Gloucester's defence had fallen apart as they cracked for a fourth time as a lack of numbers on their right was easily exploited by precise passing to send Tompkins racing over.

An even larger overlap helped Saracens plunder their fifth after Will Skelton snaffled a loose ball to initiate a counter-attack that ended in an easy finish for Tompkins, who sealed his hat-trick with an outstretched arm after Alex Goode had almost crossed.

Tries from replacements Ruan Dreyer and Lewis Ludlow added to Gloucester's score, but Saracens had long since disappeared over the horizon.

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Gareth Jones predicts the outcome of the Rugby World Cup quarter finals1

World Cup: Quarter-final predictions

After successfully predicting the majority of the Rugby World Cup pool stage outcomes, Gareth Jones looks ahead to the knockout stages.

Check out the latest daily tipping preview2

Wednesday's racing preview

Grace And Danger can finally hit the mark in Listed company at Bath, according to Anita Chambers - she has a tip for every race.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day3

Daily Nap: Yes Chef!

Ben Linfoot heads to Kempton Park for the Sporting Life Daily Nap on Wednesday with one of Jim Boyle's fancied to prevail.

David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper limps off in Spain's Euro 2020 qualifier with Sweden4

De Gea limps off in Spain clash

David De Gea could be a doubt for Man United's clash with Liverpool after suffering an injury while in action for Spain.

Tarnawa looks underestimated for Dermot Weld
5

Champions Day: The big questions

Ben Linfoot answers 10 questions ahead of QIPCO British Champions Day and finds himself striking a bet in the Fillies & Mares Stakes at a double-figure price.

Most Read

Gareth Jones predicts the outcome of the Rugby World Cup quarter finals1

World Cup: Quarter-final predictions

After successfully predicting the majority of the Rugby World Cup pool stage outcomes, Gareth Jones looks ahead to the knockout stages.

Check out the latest daily tipping preview2

Wednesday's racing preview

Grace And Danger can finally hit the mark in Listed company at Bath, according to Anita Chambers - she has a tip for every race.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day3

Daily Nap: Yes Chef!

Ben Linfoot heads to Kempton Park for the Sporting Life Daily Nap on Wednesday with one of Jim Boyle's fancied to prevail.

David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper limps off in Spain's Euro 2020 qualifier with Sweden4

De Gea limps off in Spain clash

David De Gea could be a doubt for Man United's clash with Liverpool after suffering an injury while in action for Spain.

Tarnawa looks underestimated for Dermot Weld
5

Champions Day: The big questions

Ben Linfoot answers 10 questions ahead of QIPCO British Champions Day and finds himself striking a bet in the Fillies & Mares Stakes at a double-figure price.

Racing Tips

Check out the latest daily tipping preview

Wednesday's racing preview

Grace And Danger can finally hit the mark in Listed company at Bath, according to Anita Chambers - she has a tip for every race.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Yes Chef!

Ben Linfoot heads to Kempton Park for the Sporting Life Daily Nap on Wednesday with one of Jim Boyle's fancied to prevail.

Check out the latest daily racing preview

Tuesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers is keen on the chances of Last Surprise at Leicester on Tuesday - read her full preview and tips here.

Next Race Off

08:15 Hyderabad
1
(1)
Mon General
J: Gaurav Singh
3
(6)
Celeritas
J: S Zervan

Football Tips

Our best bets for Tuesday's Euro 2020 Qualifying action

Euro 2020: Tuesday's preview & tips

The latest international break comes to an end on Tuesday and Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets - all at prices of odds-against.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate a goal for Arsenal in Valencia

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2019.

All of Sporting Life's current best bets across a range of sports

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.