Apr 29, 2017
Saracens claim bonus point as club bids farewell to de Kock and Brown
Saracens marked the final home game of the regular season with a 27-9 bonus-point win over Bristol at Allianz Park on Saturday afternoon.
On the occasion of their final games for the club, Kelly Brown and Neil De Kock led the team out alongside Schalk Brits, who was making his 200th appearance for the club.
Despite dominating possession in the first-half Sarries were pegged back by three Gavin Henson penalties to head into half-time with a 3-9 deficit.
The Men in Black rallied to score four second half tries. The first of which came through Chris Ashton before Petrus Du Plessis scored his first ever try and Nick Tomkins scored a sumptuous effort. Du Plessis rounded off the scoring with, remarkably, only his second career try to complete his brace.
The second-half will be most remembered for the fantastic standing ovations received by Brown and De Kock as they left the Allianz Park turf for the final times.
Saracens thought they’d opened the scoring in the 21st minute as a ball ran loose 10 metres inside the Bristol half for Chris Ashton to run onto. The winger chipped what looked like a heavy ball through but he seized upon it to touch down.
With Owen Farrell set to take the conversion, the try was ruled out for offside. The resulting penalty was dispatched by former Sarries man Gavin Henson to complete a bizarre couple of minutes and handed Bristol a 0-3 lead.
Former Saracens man Henson scored another penalty on the half-hour mark as Sarries sought to find their spark despite dominating possession. Henson scored a third penalty in the 33rd minute to give Bristol a 0-9 lead.
In the 34th minute, Saracens were awarded a penalty at the scrum and Farrell coolly sotted the kick between the posts to make the half-time score 3-9.
Saracens took the lead five minutes after the break. De Kock started the move with a break before working the ball across to Chris Ashton who evaded the attentions of the Bristol defence to score in the corner. Farrell converted to make the score 10-9.
De Kock left the field to a rapturous standing ovation in the 51st minute, he was replaced by Richard Wigglesworth.
Petrus Du Plessis replaced Vincent Koch in the 55th minute and such was his impact it took just three minutes for the prop to find the line. His first ever try coming from the bottom of a driving maul in what could be his final game for the club. Farrell’s tricky conversion from out wide just missed to leave the score at 15-9.
It took just three minutes for Sarries to notch up their third try of the match. A lovely ball from Alex Lozowski found its way to his centre partner Nick Tompkins who picked a great line to dot down and score and extend the hosts’ lead to 11 points.
A second emotional standing ovation of the afternoon came in the 66th minute as Kelly Brown left the Allianz Park turf for the final time to be replaced by Ben Earl.
Petrus Du Plessis scored his second ever try in the final minute to make the final score 27-9 after Farrell’s conversion.
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode(Gallagher 77) 14 Chris Ashton 13 Nick Tompkins 12 Alex Lozowski 11 Chris Wyles(Ellery 65) 10 Owen Farrell (c) 9 Neil De Kock(Wigglesworth 50) 1 Mako Vunipola(Lamositele 57) 2 Schalk Brits( George 57) 3 Vincent Koch(Du Plessis 57) 4 Maro Itoje 5 George Kruis( Hamilton 61) 6 Kelly Brown( Earl 68) 7 Schalk Burger 8 Billy Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Jamie George 17 Titi Lamositele 18 Petrus Du Plessis 19 Jim Hamilton 20 Ben Earl 21 Richard Wigglesworth 22 Matt Gallagher 23 Mike Ellery
Scores Tries Ashton (46);Tomkins(63);Du Plessis(61&79)
Bristol Rugby: 15 Jason Woodward(Pisi 67) 14 Ryan Edwards 13 Will Hurrell 12 Gavin Henson(Piutau 67) 11 Jack Tovey 10 Billy Searle 9 Alby Mathewson( Mathewson 62) 1 Jack O’Connell(Dawe 68) 2 Marc Jones (c)(Crumpton 62) 3 Gaston Cortes(Ford-Robinson 41) 4 James Phillips(Fenton-Wells 63)5 Mark Sorenson(Glynn 62) 6 Sam Jeffries 7 Olly Robinson 8 Mitch Eadie
Replacements: 16 Max Crumpton 17 Ollie Dawe 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson 19 Ben Glynn 20 Nick Fenton-Wells 21 Rhodri Williams 22 Tusi Pisi 23 Siale Piutau.
Scores Penalties Henson 3/3
Scoring Sequence 0-3 Henson pen; 0-6 Henson pen; 0-9 Henson pen; 3-9 Farrell pen; 8-9 Ashton try; 10-9 Farrell con; 15-9 Du Plessis try; 20-9 Tomkins try;25-9 Du Plessis try; 27-9 Farrell con