Saints held on despite a last-minute Gloucester attack to go two from two in the opening rounds of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
With Sam Olver scoring 14 of Saints 19 points, the home side put themselves further ahead at the top of Pool 1 despite two second half tries from their guests closing the gap to just six.
Gloucester were the first off the mark with a Billy Burns penalty but Saints responded and after getting close to the line levelled things through Olver.
Saints pushed Gloucester’s defence and after a break from Lewis Ludlam and a strong leg drive from Ethan Waller, the home side earned Olver another shot at the sticks. He sent it through the put Saints three to the good.
With the wind now in their sails, Saints mounted and pushed their way into Gloucester’s 22. After an attacking lineout was sent safely into man of the match James Craig’s hands, a driving maul was sent over the whitewash. Charlie Clare claimed the score at the base to collect his first points in a Saints shirt and Olver added the extras to send the game into half-time.
Saints made a strong attack after the break as Jamie Gibson managed to secure Olver’s restarting kick. The home side found themselves inside Gloucester’s 22 just moments later and the cherry and whites’ scrambled defence resulted in them being reduced to 14 men as Dan Thomas was shown a yellow card by referee Craig Evans.
Saints made the most of their extra man and a Jamie Elliott break got them over the gainline moments later. Rory Hutchinson and Tom Collins paired up to get Saints into Gloucester’s 22 but the ball was lost forwards in the next phase.
Gloucester seemed to be regaining some composure and earned themselves a scrum but Joe Gatta pushed Paul Hill to the floor as the players got back to their feet and Evans decided to award a penalty to the home side instead.
At the lineout Saints set up a maul but Gatta impeded, much to the Franklin’s Faithfuls’ delight, and Olver sent the resulting penalty through the uprights.
Saints piled on the pressure again and after getting themselves into a good position the ball was sent back to Olver who sent a drop goal towards the posts. The kick was good and put Saints 16 points in front.
Gloucester returned their hosts pressure and regrouped to send Ollie Thorley over minutes later. Burns sent a crossfield kick to Thorley after the cherry and whites had got themselves well within Saints’ half and the winger did the rest. Lloyd Evans sent the conversion just shy of the right upright, however,
Despite Saints’ best efforts, the home side could not amass any more points and it was in the 76 minute that Gloucester earned themselves a losing bonus point. Confusion at the lineout saw Saints lose possession and Thomas dived on the ball to score. Again Evans sent the conversion wide and the game ended with Saints clinging onto the victory to go two from two in the Anglo-Welsh opening rounds.
SAINTS Wilson; Elliott, Burrell, Hutchinson, Collins, Olver, Kessell; Waller, Clare, Hill, Onojaife, Craig, Gibson, Ludlam, Dickinson
Subs – Fish, Beesley, Denman, Paterson, Harrison, Nutley, Dickson, Foden
GLOUCESTER L Evans; Protheroe, Purdy, Creed, Thorley, Burns, Braley; Y Thomas, Walker, Ma’afu, Batley, Latta, Ludlow, D Thomas, G Evans
Subs – Mullis, Hohneck, Knight, Beckett, Clarke, Vellacott, Hudson, Safe
10mins GLOUCESTER Pen Burns 0-3
23mins SAINTS Pen Olver 3-3
28mins SAINTS Pen Olver 6-3
37mins SAINTS Try Clare Con Olver 13-3
HALF-TIME Saints 13 Gloucester 3
43mins GLOUCESTER Yellow card D Thomas 13-3
52mins SAINTS Pen Olver 16-3
56mins SAINTS Pen Olver 19-3
65mins GLOUCESTER Try Thorley 19-8
76mins GLOUCESTER Try D Thomas 19-13
FULL TIME Saints 19 Glouecester 13