Aug 18, 2018
Match Report: Bedford Blues 15-57 Saracens
Sione Vailanu scored a hat-trick as Saracens made a winning start to their pre-season campaign by defeating Bedford Blues 57-15 in a nine-try display.
The Tongan’s three tries all came from close range in the second half after Henry Taylor and Alex Lewington had cancelled out Dean Adamson and Lewis Robling’s efforts in the first.
The returning David Strettle crossed twice and Max Malins took his tally to 17 with one of his own before Adamson and Joel Kpoku traded scores late on.
Mark McCall’s side made a bright start on a warm afternoon at Goldington Road. Lewington got his hands on the ball early, showing off his speed and Christopher Tolofua showed his strength to bounce off a Bedford front rower in an impressive carry.
Duncan Taylor almost down after charging down a Will Hooley clearance and some excellent last-ditch defending from the hosts prevented Henry Taylor diving under the posts following slick handling from Nick Tompkins and Will Skelton.
Bedford’s defence was put to the test time and time again, and the Championship were rewarded for their stubbornness with the game’s opening score.
Winger Adamson chipped down the left and showed expert footballing skills to dribble to the line and dive over.
A battle ensued in the middle of the field with both teams determined and physical in contact but neither threatening to put points on the board until a moment of magic from Malins.
The former England Under-20 international danced his way through a gap and showed poise to send Henry Taylor in before adding the extras.
Sarries’ lead lasted six minutes. Robling spotted some space in behind the visitors’ backline, copied his teammate Adamson’s trick by chipping and gathering to score.
Clever awareness from Henry Taylor saw Saracens respond immediately. The scrum-half, making his long-awaited return from injury, switched the play to his namesake Duncan whose delicate pop sent Lewington crashing over from close range.
Strettle was introduced to the fray at half-time and made a telling contribution early on. Collecting Tompkins’ flat pass, the ex-Clermont Auvergne wing scampered over in the corner despite close attention from his opposite man.
A number of changes didn’t stop the Wolfpack’s momentum and Vailanu crashed over Bedford’s last-man standing to score before crossing again moments later after barnstorming runs from Jackson Wray and Strettle.
Another powerful move up the field saw Will Skelton put in Malins and there was still time for Strettle to cancel out Adamson’s second try with one of his own.
Vailanu bundled over for his third and young Kpoku rounded things off after neat play by Tom Woolstencroft and Dom Morris.
A good pre-season test for 28 Saracens players against a tough Bedford outfit. Next up is Ospreys at the HAC which can be watched on our Facebook page via a live stream.