Sep 29, 2016
Match Preview: Bristol vs Saracens
As Saracens prepare to make the trip down to Bristol for the first time since 2008 we take a look at the upcoming fixture.
It’s a short turnaround for Saracens as they take on the newcomers on Friday and Mark McCall’s side will be hoping to bounce back from their defeat to Quins last Saturday.
Newly promoted Bristol have had a tricky start to their Aviva Premiership campaign. After a close run opener against Harlequins where they secured a losing bonus point they have faced some challenging matches against the likes of Wasps and Exeter. Despite some tough fixtures the Bristol attack have shown what they are capable of and the West Country side have three times finished a game with three tries to their name.
Last Time Out
Saracens and Bristol last met back in 2009 when Bristol visited Vicarage Road. Saracens were 37-13 victors on the day with tries coming from Brad Barritt, Steve Borthwick and Ben Skirving. The two sides have however met more recently in the A-Leaugue competition when Bristol edged out the Saracens youngsters 31-27 in the final rounds of the Southern Conference in April this year.
One to Watch
Bristol have bolstered the squad which got them promoted from the Championship this summer with a number of signings from other Aviva Premiership sides including Luke Arscott and Jordan Crane. They’ve also added a couple of ex-Saracens in the shape of Thretton Palamo and Nick Fenton-Wells but perhaps one of their top signings to watch is Tusi Pisi. Brother to Ken and George Pisi who both play their rugby at Northampton Saints Tusi has been on the books of clubs such as Toulon, the Hurricanes and most recently the Japanese side the Sunwolves. This season he has made the top number of metres out of the Bristol side and is a key component of the Bristol attack.
Mark McCall said: “Bristol have proved how competitive they are at home already this season, and we’re well aware that a trip to Ashton Gate under the lights will be a tough examination for us. We’re running low on a few bodies in the backs, but that gives us the chance to blood a few youngsters and we’re looking forward to seeing how they meet the challenge tomorrow night.
“We’ve enjoyed a strong training week, and the group are all eager to get out there on Friday.”
Where to Follow
Live – Ashton Gate, kick off 19:45. Tickets from http://tickets.bristol-sport.co.uk/
Twitter - @saracens