Saracens - Saracens v Exeter Match Preview

Feb 05, 2016

Saracens v Exeter Match Preview


Sunday’s clash at Sandy Park sees two of the in-form teams in the Aviva Premiership go head to head for the first time this season.

Exeter are on flying form at home having won their last 15 home games in all major tournaments at Sandy Park since they were beaten by Gloucester over a year ago on 3rd January 2015. During that their impressive run Chiefs have recorded nine try scoring bonus points while their effective defence has meant their opponents have only managed to achieve the one losing bonus point. Try machine Thomas Waldrom has been a key part of the Chiefs charge, scoring seven tries this season and making 35 more carries than anyone else in the Aviva Premiership.

Equally impressive is the form that Saracens have maintained this season, managing only one defeat in their last 19 matches. A second half comeback against Bath last weekend, which demonstrated their gritty determination, will certainly buoy the men in black but they face a stern challenge from the Devon side who defeated them in both Aviva Premiership encounters last season.

Exeter have made five changes to the side which beat Worcester last weekend including the return of captain Jack Yeandle from illness and Sam Hill, who slots into the number 12 shirt. The Saracens’ team sees changes in the forwards with Kelly Brown and Samu Vunisa joining Jackson Wray in the back row.

With only two points separating two sides at the top of the table a highly competative clash is to be expected.

Saracens Academy pipped at the post away to London Irish

A spirited Saracens Academy side were defeated by Southern Conference leaders London Irish at Hazlewood over the weekend, with the Exiles edging Sarries 27-24.

The defending Premiership Academy champions ran the in-form Exiles close in a contest high in quality and drama, with Irish kicking a late penalty to snatch the win.

Three tries, one from the impressive loose forward Ben Earl and one-a-piece from lock forward Joel Kpoku and playmaker Tom Ffitch.

Speaking after his side’s loss, Academy Manager Don Barrell praised Saracens’ spirit but was left to rue a few missed chances after the game.

“The team played well in the main,” said Barrell whose side now sits third in the Southern Conference after six games. “We had good energy and worked hard to pressure Irish across the board but we missed a few chances to take points and score in the match. We should have moved to a bigger margin, but in fairness to them they defended well.

“It was a great game of U18 rugby which both sides played in great spirit, and we can take a lot away from a disappointing result but a positive performance on the whole.”

Saracens ran into a 0-7 lead after Ben Earl’s score, only for the Exiles’ Matt Williams to dance through the Saracens defence to score to draw the game.

Sarries edged in front with a penalty goal but Irish hit back with their second try of the game.

Yet, Barrell’s side to their credit hit back with two tries of their own through Kpoku and Ffitch, but in a topsy-turvy contest an Exiles response was never too far away as two scores from the home side levelled things up at 24-all.

With the game in its dying embers, Irish were awarded a penalty, which they kicked to break Sarries hearts.

FT: London Irish Academy 27 Saracens Academy 24

Saracens Academy: 15 Will Kaye; 14 Alex Gilham, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Nick Ramsey, 11 Elliot Obatoyinbo; 10 Tom Ffitch, 9 Alex Glickstein; 1 Taylor Reed, 2 Harrison King, 3 Seb Brownhill; 4 Joel Kpoku, 5 Zach Conley; 6 Jack Nay, 7 Sean Reffell, 8 Ben Earl.

Replacements: 16 Billy Young, 17 Andy Christie, 18 James Gallagher, 19 Sid Holland, 20 Oscar Furneaux, 21 James Elms, 22 Jack Longhurst, 23 Reuben Bird-Tullock

Academy pipped at the post away to London Irish

A spirited Saracens Academy side were defeated by Southern Conference leaders London Irish at Hazlewood over the weekend, with the Exiles edging Sarries 27-24.

The defending Premiership Academy champions ran the in-form Exiles close in a contest high in quality and drama, with Irish kicking a late penalty to snatch the win.

Three tries, one from the impressive loose forward Ben Earl and one-a-piece from lock forward Joel Kpoku and playmaker Tom Ffitch.

Speaking after his side’s loss, Academy Manager Don Barrell praised Saracens’ spirit but was left to rue a few missed chances after the game.

“The team played well in the main,” said Barrell whose side now sits third in the Southern Conference after six games. “We had good energy and worked hard to pressure Irish across the board but we missed a few chances to take points and score in the match. We should have moved to a bigger margin, but in fairness to them they defended well.

“It was a great game of U18 rugby which both sides played in great spirit, and we can take a lot away from a disappointing result but a positive performance on the whole.”

Saracens ran into a 0-7 lead after Ben Earl’s score, only for the Exiles’ Matt Williams to dance through the Saracens defence to score to draw the game.

Sarries edged in front with a penalty goal but Irish hit back with their second try of the game.

Yet, Barrell’s side to their credit hit back with two tries of their own through Kpoku and Ffitch, but in a topsy-turvy contest an Exiles response was never too far away as two scores from the home side levelled things up at 24-all.

With the game in its dying embers, Irish were awarded a penalty, which they kicked to break Sarries hearts.

FT: London Irish Academy 27 Saracens Academy 24

Saracens Academy: 15 Will Kaye; 14 Alex Gilham, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Nick Ramsey, 11 Elliot Obatoyinbo; 10 Tom Ffitch, 9 Alex Glickstein; 1 Taylor Reed, 2 Harrison King, 3 Seb Brownhill; 4 Joel Kpoku, 5 Zach Conley; 6 Jack Nay, 7 Sean Reffell, 8 Ben Earl.

Replacements: 16 Billy Young, 17 Andy Christie, 18 James Gallagher, 19 Sid Holland, 20 Oscar Furneaux, 21 James Elms, 22 Jack Longhurst, 23 Reuben Bird-Tullock

Du Plessis was superb, and I’m not sure how he wasn’t Man of the Match, as to scrummage that way against Marcos Ayerza takes some doing. I thought he was brilliant today." - See more at: http://www.saracens.com/news-article/mccall-hails-pack-performance-after-tigers-result#sthash.tZ9etc1v.dpuf

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