Match Report: Saracens Men 61 – 29 Worcester Warriors
Saracens Men added a further sprinkling of festive cheer to their supporters by recording an emphatic 61-29 victory over Worcester Warriors at StoneX Stadium.
Mark McCall’s men scored nine tries in a stunning attacking display as they returned to Premiership action in sensational style.
The hosts looked in the mood from minute one when Billy Vunipola and Sean Maitland combined down the wing to create an opening, and despite the ball going forward it was clear that the tempo was there in abundance.
It took just six minutes for the first try, as Alex Lewington marked his new contract with the opening score of the game. Alex Goode’s half break in the 22 was followed by a sumptuous dummy to create space for the winger who could then sprint clear in the corner. The conversion went just wide but Sarries had their desired early lead.
Try number two was just round the corner, and Billy Vunipola was next over the line. A five metre scrum have his side the perfect platform, and an enormous shove from the forwards marched the Warriors back to their line and Billy was there to dot down from the base. Alex Lozowski added the extras as the advantage grew to 12-0.
Three minutes later the third try came as the rampant hosts continued to dominate. Max Malins raced away from the half way line but was brought down just short, however from the next phase Goode got a pass fizzed straight to him and he could stroll over the whitewash.
The bonus point arrived just 22 minutes in as Nick Tompkins ensured it would be the full five points. Again the intensity took play deep in to their territory, and then Goode’s inch perfect grubber bounced up to the Wales centre who dived over from close range.
Nick Isiekwe was next over and it was the best so far as the home fans continued to be spoilt with some outstanding rugby. Malins popped top an offload to the second-rower, and he used all of this athletic ability to run through and then dummy the final defender in a brilliant finish. Lozowski’s conversion meant the lead was now 33-0.
Duhan van der Merwe then had a golden chance to get the Warriors on the board, but as he stepped his way to within touching distance of the line he passed it wide which allowed the Sarries defence to scramble back.
The visitors did then get over just before the break to open their account for the afternoon. After some sustained pressure in the 22 they were edging closer, and after staying patient Joe Batley spotted some space to dot down.
There was still time for one more before half time, and it was Lewington who went over for his second in a rampant attacking display. Goode kicked a penalty right in to the corner, and then off the top of the lineout the ball was spun wide and gave the winger a clear stroll over. Lozowski added the extras to ensure his side went down the tunnel with a 40-7 lead.
It was Worcester who emerged from the restart strongest, and they got their second try just five minutes after the break as their co-captain Francois Venter stepped his way past a number of defenders to score. The conversion meant the lead was cut down to 26 points.
Ben Earl then got a late Christmas gift to score try number seven for Sarries to put them firmly back in the ascendancy. Goode’s up and under caused the defence all sorts of bother, and it bounced up to Earl who then had an easy run under the sticks.
The relentless attack continued and Billy Vunipola got his second soon after as his fine performance got more reward. A penalty was kicked deep in to the 22 and then the rolling maul hammered over with the number eight able to break away to score, which also brought up the half century.
Max Malins then got a well deserved try as the tally grew to over 60 points. Vincent Koch took a lovely delayed pass from Manu Vunipola and then offloaded to the England man who glided away under the sticks.
Worcester then got a consolation score in the final 10 minutes as Venter capitalised on some open space to score a long-range effort, and then just seconds later Gareth Simpson did the same to ensure they headed back to Sixways with a four-try bonus point.
Ashley Beck rounded off the scoring for the visitors by claiming a cross-field kick to score in the corner, however the day belonged to the North Londoners who stay second in the table after a comprehensive Boxing Day victory.