Jun 17, 2014
Another week and still Saracens players are touring the globe representing their countries, here Henry Fraser recaps all of the action.
The biggest fixture of the weekend was the second test between England and New Zealand that saw the Sarries boys return to the international team. After missing the first test through having played in the Premiership final they were thrown into the cauldron having the added pressure of being a behind in the series.
It was a proper test match that saw two very good teams go head to head. England dominated the first half showing huge confidence after losing the week before. England established the lead going into the break, but New Zealand were at their ruthlessly clinical selves in first twenty minutes of the second half punishing England errors and taking the game away from the opposition.
Owen Farrell was the only Sarries player to start the match and he took full control showing his ability not to be phased by the big occasion. His kicking out of hand and off the tee was fantastic as well taking the ball the opposition.
With England on the back foot the England used their bench. Two players to make a difference were Billy Vunipola and Chris Ashton. Vunipola showed his huge power to get England going forward and Ashton marked his return to international rugby by crossing for a try at the end of the game. It was a typical Ashton try, working hard off the ball to support his team mates and get in the best position possible.
An England loss meant the series was won by New Zealand but there is a huge opportunity to pick up a win this weekend.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster had the chance to test out his travelling squad when they played the Crusaders in Christchurch. England won with a six tries to one victory. Brad Barritt and Alex Goode crossed for tries in the first half. Richard Wigglesworth came off the bench in the second half.
The England U20 team seems to be going from strength to strength. They faced a tough Ireland team in Sundays Junior World Championship (JWC) semi-final. However forward power up front gave England a great platform to launch attacks from and they took every opportunity to do so.
They ran rampant in the first half scoring four tries and finishing the game off early on. They will face their biggest test in the final this week when they face number one seeds, South Africa.
Huge congratulations to Nathan Earle who has been nominated for IRB Junior Player of the Year.
South Africa faced Wales in the first of two tests and it was the home team that dominated the match. A four try route in the first half decided the match as the South Africans showed huge power and pace that the Welsh could not match. Schalk Brits came off the bench for the second time in as many weeks.
Scotland's tour of North America took them to Canada and saw Kelly Brown back in the team. The Scots were pushed until the end by a tough Canadian outfit. Scotland eventually won the game with a penalty at the end.
Chris Wyles and Saracens Academy prop Titi Lamositele were beaten 29-37 by Japan in Pacific Nations Cup. Saracens full-back Wyles kicked three conversions and soilitary penalty as a Japan side coached by former Saracens Director of Rugby Eddie Jones and recently retired captain Steve Borthwick ran out winners at Carson, California’s StubHub Centre.
Elsewhere, Saracens tighthead prop James Johnston started for Samoa as they nilled Italy at Apia Park, 15-0.
All the Sarries players will wind up their seasons this weekend when the international window closes.