Mar 26, 2018
Eight-try Storm win comfortably against Braves
Saracens Storm ran in eight tries to condemn Exeter Braves to their first defeat of the Aviva A League season at Allianz Park.
It was a performance of power, pace and precision with Sione Vailanu, Tom Whiteley and Matt Gallagher scoring twice, while Ben Earl and Max Malins, who both featured at London Stadium 24 hours earlier, also crossed the whitewash.
Malins kicked 17 points from the tee during an impressive outing.
Exeter grabbed the first try of the gripping 57-26 contest; former Western Force number 8 Onehunga Havili powering over after three minutes before Sarries turned up the heat.
Forwards Joel Kpoku and Vailanu did the hard work, making the hard yards up the middle before Malins dotted down following a clever step back inside – a try he converted himself.
The ex-England Under-20s fly-half slotted another conversion soon after; Vailanu going over to further the home side’s lead.
A routine Malins penalty put Storm 10 points in front of their Devon counterparts but Josh Caulfield scored to keep the visitors in the match.
Saracens’ stubborn defence kept Braves at bay and they managed to counter downfield to a deadly effect.
Malins was again heavily involved, breaking from inside his own half, linking with fellow half-back Whiteley who in turn delivered for Earl to trudge in unopposed.
The bonus point was secured just before half-time with Reuben Bird-Tulloch cutting through the Exeter defence and offloading for Whiteley to score.
Vailanu got in on the action again with a rampaging run ending in reward before he assisted in sending Matt Gallagher in for his first.
Braves refused to throw in the towel and hooker Paul Davis put them in with a shout of a try bonus.
Faint hopes of a comeback were quashed almost immediately with Gallagher adding his name to the scoresheet again and Whiteley followed in similar fashion.
Although the game was over as a contest in terms of the result, Braves underlined their fighting spirit with five minutes remaining, claimed a fourth try through James Freeman.
All in all it was an excellent display from Sarries’ youngsters following on from a good win for the first team on Saturday.
Saracens Storm: M Gallagher; R Segun, D Morris, R Bird-Tulloch (O Morris 58), N Earle (E Obatoyinbo 58); M Malins (K Kay 63), T Whiteley; H Thompson-Stringer (R Adams-Hale 56), T McElroy (J Taylor 72), K Longbottom (F Pifelti 68); Joel Kpoku (Jon Kpoku 48), M Flanagan; J Nay, B Earl (capt), S Vailanu (A Christie 48).
Tries - Malins, Vailanu (2), Earl, Whiteley (2), Gallagher (2) Conversions - Malins (7) Penalty - Malins
Exeter Braves: T Williams; M Blee (J Elderkin 29), C Morgan, H Strong (P Thompson 75), C Davis (W Hollis 48); H Skinner, J Snow; B Keast (J Kenny 56), P Davis, M Street (J Owlett 44); J Caulfield (E Holmes 56), W van der Sluys; S Lonsdale (T Lawday 48), J Freeman (capt), O Havili (B Phillips 70).
Tries - Havili, Caulfield, Davis, Freeman Conversions - Skinner (3)