Dec 02, 2017
Report: Seven-try Storm too strong for Bristol United
Saracens Storm turned around a 24-14 half-time deficit to score 35 unanswered points in a seven try 49-24 win over Bristol United in the Premiership A League Southern Conference.
In an entertaining afternoon of open, fast paced A League rugby, tries from skipper Ben Earl, Titi Lamositele, Tadgh McElroy, Rotimi Segun, Nick Tompkins, Sean Reffell, and a wonderful individual effort from substitute Ali Crossdale meant that the Storm came away from today’s game with maximum points. Max Malins was in imperious form with the boot – the England U20s fly-half, who made his first Aviva Premiership start for the club last weekend against Exeter Chiefs, finished the game with a 100% kicking rate, kicking 14-points for his side.
Ben Earl kicked off the scoring with a try just two minutes into the game. The Storm skipper showing his power and determination to burst through the Bristol defence after collecting a deft Rueben Bird-Tulloch offload in the build-up. Malins converted.
Bristol hit back with on the twenty-minute mark, when the Aviva Premiership’s all-time leading try-scorer Tom Varndell combined well with No8 Sam Graham down Sarries right edge to race into score. Sarries hit-back when Titi Lamositele barrelled his way over, Malins kicking the conversion to give his side a 14-7 break after 26 minutes.
Bristol were causing the Storm too many problems in the opening half for the Storm coaching staff’s liking - the hosts porous defence inviting the West Country side back into the game. No8 Sam Graham crossed for a score to level up the game, before Bristol outside half Calum Sheedy landed a 35th minute penalty to edge his side in front. On the stroke of half-time, Bristol were in again – wing Aaron Chapman showing his promise evading the tackles of Rotimi Segun and the covering Max Malins to score right before the break.
It wasn’t a first-half performance this young Storm side will look back on with too much fondness, but their next forty minutes was much more impressive. Sarries introduced young flanker Sean Reffell and prop forward Hayden Thompson-Stringer at the break. Stringer showed the tenacity and carrying prowess that has earned the former back-rower first team opportunities this season, whilst in Reffell, a former Saracens U18 captain, Saracens’ academy have another rough diamond of which to polish, with the young wing-forward putting in an eye-catching display that was topped off with a second half try.
Hooker Tadgh McElory kicked off the second-half procession, burrowing over for his second try in as many games six minutes after the break. Rotimi Segun was next for a Sarries, capitalising on a back-field error from Bristol try-scorer Champan after Malins’ clever grubber in-behind caused havoc for the United wing.
The Storm were on top. Nick Tompkins ran in a fine individual try, collecting a Rueben Bird-Tulloch (who was impressive for the hosts) offload in midfield before outpacing the covering Varndell to score.
Substitute Sean Reffell was next to cross, scoring his deserved try on 66 minutes with the game already wrapped up. There was still time for one more try, and this was the pick of the bunch. Replacement wing Ali Crossdale showed blistering pace and fine balance to score a superb try, coming off his right wing, breaking the Bristol cover and rounding the final defender to finish in the left-hand corner. It was a fine score to finish a highly entertaining game.
Final Score: Saracens Storm 49 Bristol United 24
Saracens Storm: 15 Matt Gallagher; 14 Mike Ellery (Ali Crossdale 48’), 13 Nick Tompkins), 12 Rueben Bird-Tulloch (Oli Morris 62’), 11 Rotimi Segun; 10 Max Malins, 9 Tom Whiteley (Al Gliksten 66’); 1 Titi Lamositele (Hayden Thompson-Stringer 41’), 2 Tadgh McElroy, 3 Kieran Longbottom (Fakaosi Pifileti 66’), 4 Danny Cutmore (John Kpoku 53’), 5 Mark Flanagan, 6 Jack Nay, 7 Joel Conlon (Sean Reffell 41’), 8 Ben Earl.
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifileti (Haileybury College), 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer 18 Fakaosi Pifileti, 19 John Kpoku (Oaklands College), 20 Sean Reffell, 21 Al Gliksten, 22 Oli Morris, 23 Ali Crossdale
Tries: Earl (1’) Lamositele (26’), McElroy (46’), Segun (50’), Tompkins (62’), Reffell (66’(, Crossdale 70’)
Conversions: Malins (7/7)
Bristol United: 15. Ryan Edwards; 14. Aaron Chapman, 13. Jack Wallace (c), 12. Jack Tovey, 11. Tom Varndell; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Reiss Cullen; 1. Jack Cosgrove, 2. Nick Fenton-Wells, 3. Ollie Dawe, 4. Joe Batley, 5. Ehize Ehizode, 6. James Dun, 7. Jack Capon, 8. Sam Graham (Massey RFC).
Replacements: 16. Nick Freeman, 17. Jack O’Connell, 18. Alex Giltrow, 19. Sam Tiley (University of South Wales), 20. Sam Taylor (Hartpury BUCs) 21. Ryan Glynn, 22. Iwan Hughes, 23. Tom Hargan.
Tries: Varndell (20’) Graham (30’), Chapman (39’)
Conversions: Sheedy (3/3)
Penalty: Sheedy (1/1)