Saracens - Saracens hit Oyonnax for six

Dec 13, 2015

Saracens hit Oyonnax for six

Saracens took control of Pool 1 of the European Champions Cup with their third win in as many games, running in five tries to defeat US Oyonnax 45-10 at the Stade Charles Mathon.

In a dominnt European display where Saracens showcased their attacking prowess, tries from Alex Goode, Chris Wyles, Maro Itoje, Richard Wigglesworth, Schalk Brits, plus a first half penalty try gave Sarries their ninth win of the season.

Saracens travelled to the Rhône-Alpes region to face Top 14 strugglers US Oyonnax in a rich vein of form. European clashes can tend to rip-up the form book, and the two side's record going into the Pool 1 Champions Cup clash could not have been more contrasting, with Saracens 13th French opponents in European history having only won two games in their domestic competition.

Sarries were in no mood to offer their opponents any mercy, with Mark McCall’s side at their ruthless and relentless best at the Stade Charles Mathon, picking up a try scoring bonus point in a dominant display.

The north Londoners started the game in powerful fashion that they carried throughout the whole contest. No8 Billy Vunipola carried with real intent, with young bolter Maro Itoje never too far away from the action.

After an early penalty miss, Owen Farrell nudged his side in front after eight minutes when Oyonnax were once again penalised for a discretion at the breakdown.

Saracens were dominating. With both field position and territory they were beginning to turn the screw with the scrum a weapon that was causing particular problems for the home side.

Richard Wigglesworth went close to scoring Saracens’ first try after a superb backs move released Chris Ashton down the right hand touchline, only for Ashton’s inside pass to his scrumhalf to be knocked down by an opposition player.

From the resulting scrum, Sarries forward unit led impressively by tighthead Juan Figallo forced Oyonnax into conceding a penalty try. Owen Farrell converted to give Sarries a 10-0 lead.

Oyonnax registered their first points of the game when former Newcastle and Harlequins playmaker Rory Clegg sent over a penalty, after missing his first two attempts.

If Sarries first score was from hard graft, then their next two tries were born out of pure craft, with outside half Owen Farrell featuring heavily in both scores.

Sarries second try was finished (very well) by Alex Goode, but the creator-in-chief was certainly the Sarries No10, who sold a fine dummy to confuse the Oyonnax defenders before firing out a superb cut-out pass to left wing, Chris Wyles. The American wing did well to attract the covering defender before offloading to Goode who finished well in the corner. Farrell converted expertly from the touchline.

Minutes later, Sarries were at again, this time in the form of a deadly counter attack that both Goode and Farrell were heavily involved with. Openside Will Fraser, linking up beautifully into the attack, popped up to provide the all-important assist for Chris Wyles who crossed for his fourth try of the Champions Cup right before the break.

Sarries had the scent of blood and went for the jugular in the second half. Two wonderful team tries, which saw forwards and backs combine with great interplay led to Maro Itoje and Richard Wigglesworth crossing for their team’s fourth and fifth tries. Farrell made no mistake with either conversion, as Saracens led 38-3 with just 50 minutes on the clock.

Sarries had more chances, with flank forward Mike Rhodes continuing to cause havoc in open field and reserve hooker Schalk Brits looking to weave his magic at any opportunity a half-break was never too far away.

Oyonnax responded late on with a try from reserve scrumhalf Arthur Aziza, before replacement Brits danced his way over from close range. Charlie Hodgson converted to give Sarries a 45-10 win.

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