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Pictures from Saints season opener against Gloucester

Saints 34 20 Gloucester * Saints collect 5 league points

A stellar display from George Furbank was the centrepiece of this valuable first win in the first game of the season for Saints.

He scored and made tries on a day when everyone felt Saints could and should have had a few more points in the bag due to a high error count.

Gloucester’s squad were injury ravaged but with Billy Twelvetrees, Johnny May, Lewis Ludlow and Ben Morgan on the field they still had plenty of bite.

By the same token Saints also had a clutch of A-listers missing but put in a dominant display against a side that mugged them on its last visit to the Gardens (now officially The Cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens).

Alex Mitchell had a good day at nine, looking sharp and dangerous, making way for the feisty input of Conor Tupai.

James Grayson was assured at 10 and can probably count his yellow card unlucky right at the end of the game.

Johnny May touched down in the corner and Grayson was one of two Saints defenders just a heartbeat too late to drive him into touch. May, with an older player’s anxiety about unnecessary knocks, piped up and ref Karl Dickson reviewed the footage. He saw a shoulder charge and showed Grayson yellow.

However this only allowed Saints to activate the least secret secret weapon there has ever been as Furbank slotted in at 10 as he has on a number of occasions for Saints now.

Captain Lewis Ludlam is looking for Saints to take it up another level this season and while it may not have been perfect it was certainly mission accomplished.

Pictures by Dave Ikin.

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