Sep 23, 2017
Match Report: Saracens 41-13 Sale Sharks
Saracens stretched their legs in a 41-13 bonus point victory over Sale Sharks at Allianz Park.
Ben Spencer scored twice, making his tally four tries from four games this season; with Liam Williams, Vincent Koch, and Nathan Earle also scoring.
Owen Farrell was named man of the match, staying perfect from the tee this season after making all five conversions, and two penalties on the day.
However, Saracens paid for their success, with Billy Vunipola leaving the field injured before halftime.
Spencer opened the scoring for Saracens. Williams broke down the left wing and quick ball set Sarries up in the middle of the field. A dummy from Spencer put him in easily under the posts.
Williams soon followed suit with a try of his own. A lineout on Sale’s 5-metre line saw the forwards maul to the line; a quick pass and Williams was in.
A defensive back and forth took over the next 10 minutes, highlighted by some acrobatic defending by Williams to prevent a Sale penalty from setting them up in the corner.
Saracens defence was tested before the half, but there was no penetrating the sea of black that formed on the goal line. The exchange did however leave Billy Vunipola injured. Calum Clark made his Saracens debut as his replacement.
The Men in Black opened the second half fast, putting consistent pressure on Sale’s defence. After 10-minutes a bit of Farrell magic broke the line and put Spencer in for his second.
Soon after, a try saving tackle from Sean Maitland kept Sarries three tries ahead, forcing a Josh Charnley fumble on the goal-line.
Fresh legs from replacements helped secure Saracens a bonus point. A powerful charge led by the forwards and a slick offload by Schalk Brits put Koch in for the score.
Minutes later Sale finally broke through. Byron McGuigan broke down the wing and Natahn Earle’s valiant attempt to keep him out fell just short.
In the final minutes of the match, Nathan Earle added Saracens’ fifth try, breaking down the wing to score in the corner. However, the final play of the game saw McGuigan once again cross the line for Sale.
Saracens – Ben Spencer (‘3) (52), Liam Williams (‘8), Koch (’63), Earle (’77).
Sale – McGuigan (’65) (’80).
Saracens – Farrell 5/5
Sale – Cliff 0/2
Saracens – Farrell 2-2 (’31) (’49)
Sale – De Klerk 1-1 (’25)
Saracens - Alex Goode, Sean Maitland, Marcelo Bosch (Lozowski ’56), Duncan Taylor, Liam Williams (Earle ’64), Owen Farrell ©, Ben Spencer (Taylor ’60), Mako Vunipola (Thompson-Stringer ’60), Jamie George (Brits ’50), Juan Figallo (Koch ’50), Nick Isiekwe (Day ’66), George Kruis, Maro Itoje, Jackson Wray, Billy Vunipola (Clark ’36).
Replacements - Schalk Brits, Hayden Thompson-Stringer, Vincent Koch, Dominic Day, Calum Clark, Henry Taylor, Alex Lozowski, Nathan Earle.
Sale - Mike Haley, Denny Solomona (L.James ’72), Sam James, Mark Jennings, Josh Charnley, Faf De Klerk (McGuigan ’56), Will Cliff, Ross Harrison (Flynn ’61), Rob Webber, Alexandru Tarus (Aulika ’43), Bryn Evans, Josh Beaumont (Ostrikov ’50), Jono Ross ©, Tom Curry, Josh Strauss (B. Curry ’43).
Replacements - Cameron Neild, James Flynn, Halani Aulika, Andre Ostrikov, Ben Curry, TJ Loane, Luke James, Byron McGuigan.