MATCH REPORT | Saracens Men 26-29 Tel Aviv Heat
Saracens Men were beaten 29-26 by Tel Aviv Heat on a tough afternoon at StoneX Stadium.
The clinical visitors, who were physically dominant took their chances and celebrated a famous win in the first part of the StoneX Double Header on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors took the lead with just six minutes on the clock, a breakdown penalty right in front of the posts allowed Jordan Chait to give them an early 3-0 lead.
It got even better for the Heat with 10 minutes gone as a sensational score gave them some breathing space.
Some quick handling saw them go from right to left, and released Sebastian Jobb who grabbed the final pass to score an impressive try.
Sarries then had the chance to get back in the match with a number of five metre lineouts but they were unable to capitalise and the opportunities disappeared.
Jone Manu then intercepted and almost made it all the way for their second try but Jenson McInulty used all of his pace to get back and drag him in to touch.
Andy Christie got Sarries’ first score of the game with 10 minutes until half time as they looked to plot their route back in to the match. The ball came loose on half way and Christie used all of his searing pace to run clear and get his side on the board. Tobias Elliott’s conversion brought the hosts back to within a point.
Tom Howe was inches away from putting the hosts ahead as he looked to gather a looping pass which he almost intercepted, but in the challenging conditions the ball went forward.
Just as it looked as if Sarries had clicked in to gear, the visitors scored with one minute until the break to wrestle back control.
Sarries were on the attack, but a pass was intercepted by Niall Saunders and he went from one end of the pitch to the other to the delight of their fans. The conversion meant the hosts headed down the tunnel trailing 7-15 at the break.
Tel Aviv made the dream start to the second half as a famous victory became even more likely. A kick was hacked in to the Sarries 22 and it popped up perfectly for Jobb who gathered to score his second of the afternoon. The conversion meant the hosts would have overturn a 15 point deficit.
Kapeli Pifeleti gave Sarries some hope with 25 minutes to go as he powered over from the base of maul to give the hosts some much needed energy, but unfortunately the response saw Tel Aviv cross once again as the momentum once again halted.
Sailasa Turaguluvu crossed for their fourth as they took advantage of strong field position again, and it left Sarries needing a minor miracle in the final quarter.
That miracle, just as they have done so many times already this season looked like it could happen when Sam Bryan gathered an inside pass to run under the sticks, and Elliott’s conversion brought the gap back to eight points.
Declan Murphy then dived over in the corner after a free-flowing move with just one minute left made the impossible look more likely, but that proved to be the final chance as Tel Aviv saw out a famous win in North London.