Tom Stephenson swerves past Matt Kvesic on his way to the line © Getty Images
Rugby News SAINTS 39 GLOUCESTER 13 Stephenson: Our patience paid off
Tom Stephenson says that when the Saints played with more patience in the second half it paid off against Gloucester.
The hosts got off to a perfect start, Ken Pisi scooping up a loose ball to score with only 90 seconds on the clock. But Gloucester centre Henry Trinder capitalised on a loose pass himself to go 80 metres for the try, and at half-time there were only three points between the teams on the score board.
Stephen Myler was having another good day with the boot, but Freddie Burns tied things up after the break and Saints were having a frustrating time of it.
But in the third quarter they ran away with the contest, scoring four unanswered tries to secure a bonus point win. Calum Clark (first ever Aviva Premiership try in a man of the match performance), Alex Waller (first score of the season) and Will Hooley (maiden try in the first team) will all remember their scores fondly, but Stephenson's was the pick of the bunch.
For the second week in succession the centre weaved his way to the whitewash, leaving a trail of defenders in his wake, making it four tries in five games - Stephenson having scored two in England Under-20s' opening two Six Nations matches.
And he told SaintsTV that the scores in the final quarter were reward for a more patient approach in the second half.
"We knew Gloucester were going to be hard; they beat Quins last week," Stephenson commented. "It showed in the first half. It took 60 minutes to break them down, but when we did we took our chances well.
"We knew ourselves that we needed to be more patient, keep hold of the ball and recycle it, and that's what we did."
His effort at Newcastle won the Aviva Premiership try of the week for Round 15, and with this score being a similar effort it would be no surprise should the 19-year-old be on the short-list for a second successive week.
"I think my family did most of the voting!" Stephenson added. "It was awesome to get that, but as long as the team is winning that's all that matters."
The Saints are back in action at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday, March 8th, playing Saracens in the LV= Cup semi-final. It is a clash of the two top teams in the Aviva Premiership, and with a place in the first final of the season at stake there is all to play for.
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