Saracens bowed out of the Premiership 7s competition at Franklin’s Gardens losing two out of three games in an entertaining evening in Northampton, writes Matthew Hennessey.
During the three game tournament Saracens’ Kenyan duo Sammy Oliech and Ian Minjire stole the show scoring five tries between them. Hayden Thompson-Stringer and captain Tom Whitely performed admirably throughout the tournament as Don Barrell’s young side fell short in the final match of the evening against Northampton.
Game 1 – Saracens 33 Wasps 14 – Impala Saracens duo star in strong performance
It was a dream start to the evening for Saracens, with Kenyan duo Sammy Oliech and Ian Minjire stealing the show in the opening game against Wasps.
Despite falling behind to well taken Tom Howe try, Don Barrell’s men responded with Sammy Oliech crossing for a fourth minute effort in the left hand corner. Captain Tom Whitely converted expertly from the sidelines.
The Kenyan centre then repeated his feat minutes later to double Saracens score, with Whitely again adding the extras.
After the break Nick Hankin scored a well taken try, before Oliech’s compatriot Ian Minjire extend Saracens lead to 33-7 after crossing for two tries in a deadly two minute spell.
Wasps’ Ollie Evans would cross in the final play of the game to make the final score Saracens 33 Wasps 14.
Game 2 – Saracens 0 Harlequins 36 – Weary Sarries blown away by Marchant hat trick
Playing immediately after a tough examination against a lively Wasps outfit, backing up against a strong Harlequins side that included Sevens specialists Ollie Lindsey-Hauge and Charlie Walker was always going to be a tough ask.
The Quins ran away with the contest against the fatigued Sarries running in six tries with Joe Marchant bagging a hat trick of tries.
Game 3 – Saracens 14 Northampton Saints 33 – Saints edge hot tempered contest
The winner of this game would seal their place in the finals at the The Twickenham Stoop, and it was Saracens who drew first blood in what proved to be a typically feisty contest between the two sides when Elliot Reeder crashed over from a tap penalty.
The Saints hit back immediately with two quick fire scores after Saracens were reduced to six men when Bauwmans was sin-binned. Sarries hit back before the half-time whistle when Kenyan Minjire raced 60 metres to score to a chorus of unsporting boos from the Frankiln’s Gardens faithful in what was a fine try from the Imapla Saracens man.
Saints though blew Saracens away in the second half, scoring 19 unanswered points as tempers flared towards the end of the game.
Saracens 7s squad in Group C:
1. Darrell Dyre, 2. Sammy Oliech, 3. Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 4. Elliot Reeder, 5. Ian Minjire, 6. Nick Hankin, 7. Xavier Bauwmans, 8. George Perkins, 9.Tom Whitely ©, 10. Will Edwards, 11. Max Malins