Aug 19, 2016
Report: Sarries kick-off preseason with six-try win
Saracens ran out comfortable winners in the club’s first preseason outing as they ran in six tries to defeated Bedford Blues 36-21 at Goldington Road.
There was a brace of tries for skipper Schalk Brits and winger Mike Ellery, plus scores for replacement scrumhalf Henry Taylor and centre Nick Tompkins as the north Londoners defeated a spirited Blues side who provided stiff competition for Saracens on the night.
On show for Saracens were a trio of new faces, as full-back Sean Maitland, outside half Alex Lozowski and lock forward, on his return to Goldington Road, Mark Flanagan all starting the game.
In Sarries first hit-out of preseason it was no surprise that there was an element of rustiness. It was the Blues who were first on the scoreboard, after former Sarries academy No10 Jake Sharp intercepted a speculative pass on halfway to race away to feed Blues wing Tapley who dotted the ball down. Sharp converted to give the Blues a 7-0 lead.
Sarries though, quickly hit back through Mike Ellery. The giant wing powered over the line carrying two Blues defenders with him after some fine approach play in the Blues 22 from Sean Maitland and Samu Vunisa (who was a late replacement for Michael Rhodes). Spencer couldn’t add the extras from out wide.
The rest of the half was Sarries, as Mark McCall’s charges were in rampant mood running in three tries before the break. Mike Ellery doubled his first half tally collecting a sumptuous cross-field kick from Chris Ashton in the build-up.
The contest was becoming more and more one sided, and down to 14-men after Jake Sharp was yellow carded for cynically killing the ball at a Saracens breakdown, the hosts conceded two push over tries with skipper Schalk Brits the beneficiary on both occasions.
Half-Time score: Bedford Blues 5 Saracens 24
Sarries were in no mood to halt the procession, with Henry Taylor fresh from the bench scoring just four minutes after the break. Next up was Nick Tomkins, who finished off the try of the evening with some wonderful interplay from forwards and backs in the build-up.
Mark McCall was able to introduce some of his promising academy players to the fold as the game wore on. Bedford to their credit rallied, as they crossed for two tries late into the second half – Jason Hill and Camilo Parilli-Ocampo the scorers.
Full Time: Bedford Blues 21 Saracens 36
15 Sean Maitland; 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Mike Ellery; 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Ben Spencer; 1 Richard Barrington, 2 Schalk Brits (c), 3 Juan Figallo, 4 Jim Hamilton, 5 Mark Flanagan, 6 Samu Vunisa, 7 Joel Conlon, 8 Jackson Wray
Replacements: Scott Spurling (on for Schalk Brits 50), Ralph Adams-Hale (on for Richard Barrington 71), Petrus Du Plessis (on for Juan Figallo 41) , Billy Walker (on for Petrus Du Plessis 76) Nick Isiekwe (on for Mark Flanagan), Ben Earl (on for Samu Vunisa 60), Jack Nay (on for Joel Conlon 71), Henry Taylor (on for Ben Spencer 41), Max Malins (on for Alex Lozowski 70) , Matt Gallagher (on for Mike Ellery 60), George Perkins (on for Chris Ashton 71), Tom Griffiths (on for Marcelo Bosch 71)
Tries: Ellery x2, Brits x 2, Henry Taylor, Nick Tompkins
Conversions: Ben Spencer (2/4), Alex Lozowski (1/2)