Gloucester have not had the best of seasons, and it has culminated in the departures this summer of not just South African head coach Johan Ackermann, but also Director of Rugby David Humphreys. Next season, the Cherry and Whites will be under a completely new leadership team.
This season, they have scored some very good tries, and this is just one of them.
This try was scored entirely by Tom Marshall, who is a winger or a full-back for Gloucester. Here, we see the beginning of the move, when he collects the ball. It has reached him via a combination of star fly-half Danny Cipriani and full-back Jason Woodward, with Marshall playing on the wing in this game.
Marshall collects the ball, and we see how much open space he has in front of him. Saracens, the opponents in this game, are looking to try and tackle him here before he can get any more forward, but Marshall evades the attempt to stop him, as you can see in this image.
Moving on to the next obstacle in Marshall’s way, we see how there is a Saracens defender looking to tackle him, hoping to take the New Zealander into touch. However, if we look here, Marshall has a passing option inside of him, in Italy scrum-half Callum Braley, who left the club this season to join Italian side Benetton in the Pro 14. Braley has space in front of him to take the ball towards the try line, however Marshall opts not to pass to him. Instead, he kicks the ball over the head of the Saracens defender, as you can see in the image above.
This means that the ball has now got past the last Saracens defender, but now Marshall needs to get himself around his opponent, in order to pick up the ball and score.
Here, we see how he does that. The red arrow shows us that he makes a curved run on the inside of the defender, who was distracted by the ball looping over his head. That gave Marshall the split second he needed to make this run and succeed in getting to the ball. By making the run on the inside, he has also decreased the chances of being taken into touch of he is tackled at all. We see how he now has a clear route to the line. Braley has also continued his run, but Marshall doesn’t need to pass the ball to him.
This was a try scored through the individual brilliance of one player, in New Zealander Tom Marshall, and you can see how he has taken the ball from his own half towards the try line without needing any other player to help him. Marshall was one of three Gloucester players to follow Johan Ackermann to Japanese side Red Hurricanes this summer, along with Welsh fly-half Owen Williams and South African hooker Franco Marais, but this try shows how important he was in his five seasons at Kingsholm.