Saracens Storm began their defence of the Premiership Rugby Shield with a five-try win over Bath United at The Rec.
Andy Christie scored twice and further scores from Tom Whiteley, Elliott Obatoyinbo and Matt Gallagher helped Sarries to their second victory in Somerset in as many days.
Storm showed their intent to grasp control of the game from the off when Callum Hunter-Hill jumped highest to reclaim possession from Damian Willemse’s kick-off.
Strong carries followed and when the hosts did manage to get their hands on the ball they were stopped dead in their tracks by some huge hits on the gainline.
The game’s first real bit of quality came inside five minutes. Rotimi Segun, who scored twice on his home European debut last time out, ghosted through a hole on the left, drew his man to send Whiteley in under the sticks.
After a period of kick-tennis, Sarries should have added to their try-tally. Matt Gallagher punted a driver to corner and from the resulting line-out, the platform was set for Whiteley to execute a two-on-one with Ali Crossdale only to be denied by covering Bath wing Joey Patrick.
A second score did follow though, starting and ending with one man. Number 8 Christie collected on the opposition 10 and just kept running, running and running, looking for the pass but he didn’t need it as he powered over the whitewash.
Both tries were brilliant in their own way and Storm’s third was too. Whiteley sniped blind beating a couple of defenders and when he realised the pass to Obatoyinbo wasn’t on, the scrum-half delivered a perfectly-weighted grubber for the winger to gather and touch down.
Bath rallied and reminded Saracens they were still in the contest and Ollie Fox managed to get over on the stroke of half-time to get them on the scoreboard.
Early in the second, United closed the gap once again capitalising on a man advantage following Rhys Carre’s sin-binning. A player up in the pack, the Somerset forwards set well at the line-out and Will Scott flopped over to pull them back to within five points.
The home side huffed and puffed for a complete turnaround but their efforts proved in vain with a stern Wolfpack in front of them and it was that defensive platform which allowed the visitors to creep upfield to eventually score their fourth through Gallagher.
Tom de Glanville and Levi Douglas scored late for Bath but Christie’s second following a charge down ensured the points were headed for NW4.