Aug 21, 2014
Five star Saracens brush aside Ospreys
Saracens were in fine fettle at the HAC as they brushed aside the Ospreys in a strong five try display in the heart of the City of London beating the Welsh region 39-5.
David Strettle, Billy Vunipola scored first half tries, with Man of the Match Richard Wigglesworth crossing just after the break. Ben Spencer and Rhys Gil extended Saracens lead later on in an entertaining evening of pre-season rugby.
Saracens ran into an 18-point lead in the first half with tries from David Strettle, Billy Vunipola and eight points from the boot of Charlie Hodgson the difference in a first half that showed numerous flashes of quality from the north Londoners.
After Dan Bigger dragged a routine penalty wide of the posts Saracens edged their way in front with a Charlie Hodgson penalty. The Ospreys were penalised at the scrum after a front row including new signing Kieran Longbottom put the Welsh side under pressure at the set-piece.
Chris Wyles then went close to scoring the game’s first try after a well worked backs move, but it was Saracens’ other winger David Strettle who would break the deadlock after 26 minutes. Collecting a well-judged Brad Barritt grubber kick Strettle showed great strength and determination to finish in the left hand corner with three defenders on his back - Hodgson converted expertly from the touchline.
The Saracens pack were in the ascendency, with livewire half-back Richard Wigglesworth dictating proceedings from behind the dominant eight, and minutes after Strettle’s score Saracens crossed for their second try, with Billy Vunipola barnstorming over from five metres out. Hodgson failed with the conversion but added another penalty right on half-time to give Saracens an 18-0 lead at the break.
In the second-half Director of Rugby Mark McCall rung the changes, as Saracens looked to give game time to as many of their 30-man matchday squad as possible. With the game disjointed with the incessant yet understandable amount of personnel changes it meant the flow of the game was somewhat inhibited, yet Saracens would add three more tries to their tally in the second forty minutes after Ospreys back rower Tyler Ardron opened the second half scoring.
Richard Wigglesworth crossed for a well-deserved try after Ardron’s effort. Wigglesworth’s replacement Ben Spencer was next to score, before replacement loosehead Rhys Gill rounded off an impressive Saracens team performance in the final minutes.
Next up for Saracens is Bedford Blues at Goldington Road next Friday.