With both sides fielding much changed line-ups from the previous round of fixtures, today’s match up was billed as a battle between two of the most successful Academy systems in the Gallagher Premiership, with eleven of Saracens’ matchday 23 having come through the club’s youth pathway.
Despite a slow first half Saracens made their mark early on in the second 40 to help secure a 38-7 win over Exeter Chiefs, with man of the match Alex Lewington’s brace among scores for both Nick Tompkins and Dom Morris (2).
While Sarries will be pleased with their second half performance it took the Men in Black some time to get into their stride. The opening period of play saw midfield action dominate proceedings, with both teams failing to make significant inroads in to the other’s 22.
A yellow card for Will Skelton on 21 minutes gave Exeter a chance to build possession but the visitors were unable to make their numerical advantage count as a fierce performance from the Saracens defence kept the Chiefs at bay.
As the minutes ticked away it seemed as though the first half might pass without either side breaking the deadlock, but with just six minutes left on the clock a fortunate gust of wind gifted Lewington the ball and the winger made no mistake as he sprinted through to open the scoring and give Saracens a narrow half time lead.
Two quick tries after the break signalled a bright start to the second period for the home side, extending their lead to 21-0. First Lewington was in again, showing quick feet to dodge his defence, before Skelton’s break and powerful bosh allowed the Australian to release Tompkins for a third score.
Despite their efforts throughout the game what would be Exeter’s only score of the game came on the 55-minute mark, as flanker Richard Capstick crossed over from close range to give Gareth Steenson a straightforward conversion under the sticks.
It was not enough however to kick-start an Exeter fightback as Saracens tightened their hold on the fixture as the half wore on. A first Gallagher Premiership try for Academy product Morris secured the bonus point before the youngster claimed a fine second score, intercepting Max Bodilly’s pass before showing his pace to sprint from the halfway.
With the clock in the red Exeter continued to attack the Saracens line in search of a second score but, as they had done so effectively throughout the game, the Saracens defence held firm to deny the visitors and close out a 38-7 win.