Aug 24, 2018
Match Report: Saracens 31-14 Ospreys
Saracens rounded off their pre-season campaign with a hard-fought victory over Ospreys at the HAC.
Tries from Alex Lozowski, Richard Barrington, Will Skelton and Christopher Tolofua helped the Men in Black to a 31-14 success against the Welsh region.
In a beautiful setting in the heart of London, the match began in Test-like style with several destructive carries and tackles put in by both sides before Sarries made the breakthrough.
After going through the phases, Skelton’s pulled pass to Lozowski gave the England man enough space to jink his way through a gap in the visitors’ defence and open the scoring.
Ospreys response was up front and physical but Saracens’ resilient defence kept that at bay, forcing mistakes and turnovers - the most notable coming on their own line, denying Sam Davies five points.
Back in attack, Mark McCall’s side used the driving maul to devastating effect. A perfect throw from Jamie George allowed the Wolfpack the platform to dominate and scurry towards a score, and when Ospreys prevented a try at the first attempt, they couldn’t at the second.
Vincent Koch was thwarted inches from the whitewash but fellow prop Barrington was on hand to bundle over.
The game became end-to-end thereafter. David Strettle’s interception saw Sarries regain territory in the 22 but a loose ball then gave Ospreys the opportunity to race clear via the electric Justin Tipuric.
Another Wales international in George North showed his pace in an attempt to skip away from the hosts’ backline, and although he was stopped by a superb Max Malins tackle, his offload went straight in the bread basket of Sam Cross and he made no mistake in replying for the Swansea-based outfit.
Moments later, accuracy and precision went out the window for Ospreys and the mistakes returned. Scrum-half Aled Davies stood still expecting a penalty as the ball squirmed out of a ruck and Skelton swooped in to scoop up the ball and punish him just before half-time.
A quick turnaround with a few changes at the break and Ospreys responded in fine fettle; Sam Cross going over in the corner.
Summer signing Alex Lewington was introduced midway the second period and his handy work alongside Alex Goode earned Saracens a penalty which Ben Spencer slotted to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
It was game with under 10 minutes remaining as Tolofua flopped down after another successful rolling maul to complete a good evening at the HAC.