Jan 27, 2017
Saracens secure bonus point win in Wales
Saracens ran-in four tries to defeat Scarlets 32-17 in round three of the Anglo-Welsh Cup at the Parc y Scarlets.
In an entertaining evening of running rugby in West Wales, tries from Nick Tomkins, Matt Gallagher, Mike Ellery and Tom Whiteley secured the bonus-point win.
It was a strong showing from a young Saracens side who gave debuts to wing Rotimi Segun and fly-half Max Malins and included flanker Will Fraser in the starting line-up for the first time since the Premiership Final in May 2016. Fraser completed 40 minutes of the game unscathed and impressed with a few touches in attack and some committed work at the breakdown.
It took only two minutes for new-boy Malins to register his first senior points for Saracens, as the England U20s fly-half sent over a penalty to give Saracens the lead.
Saracens were dominant throughout, with centres Nick Tompkins and Tim Streather influential throughout the game. Tompkins crossed for the first try of the game, collecting a deft delayed pass from Malins to finish a move started from a Streather grubber kick. Malins converted.
It would be another Streather kick through that yielded Saracens’ second try of the evening. The skipper for the night saw plenty of room in the back field after receiving a bullet Henry Taylor cut-out pass and grubbered through to the onrushing Matt Gallagher who finished well. Malins couldn’t convert but he added a penalty on the stroke of half-time to give Sarries a 18-0 lead at the break.
The Scarlets were much improved in the second half, and the quickly cut Saracens lead to eight points after a Jack Maynard penalty and a converted try. Saracens saw wing Segun yellow carded for a dangerous tackle as the momentum threatened to swing completely in the West Walians favour.
Saracens though rallied, and despite their numerical disadvantage they crossed the games next try when Mike Ellery produced as fine individual effort to score. The powerful Saracens wing chipped the Scarlets cover and showed burning pace to finish.
The visitors weren’t out of the woods though, as the Scarlets immediately pinned them back when replacement outside half Billy McBryde crossed with 13 minutes left to play.
Saracens though could call on the experience of wily halfback Neil De Kock, who marshalled the final stages with aplomb. With Sarries having now wrestled back control they crossed for their final and fourth try, with substitute fly-half Tom Whiteley reminded his Saracens coaches of his bourgeoning talent with a delightful show and go to secure the bonus-point.
Up next for Saracens in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, a clash with Leicester Tigers at Allianz Park on Sunday 5th February, kick-off 16h00.
Scarlets: 15 Dion Jones, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Steff Hughes, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Corey Baldwin, 10 Jack Maynard, 9 Declan Smith, 1 Dylan Evans, 2 Emyr Phillips [c], 3 Nicky Thomas, 4 Josh Helps, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 6 Jack Condy, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Morgan Allen
Replacements; 16 Torin Myhill, 17 Gethin Robinson, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 Phil Day, 20 Tom Phillips, 21 Connor Lloyd, 22 Billy McBryde, 23 Richard Smith.
Saracens: 15 Matt Gallagher; 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Tim Streather (c), 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Rotimi Segun (Morris 66'); 10 Max Malins (Whiteley 59’), 9 Henry Taylor (De Kock 58’); 1 Titi Lamositele (Culverhouse 67’), 2 Scott Spurling (Saunders 54’), 3 Petrus Du Plessis (Walker 54); 4 Nick Isiekwe (Baillie 58’), 5 Mark Flanagan; 6 Joel Conlon, 7 Will Fraser (Earl 41’), 8 Samu Vunisa.
Replacements; 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Jack Culverhouse, 18 Billy Walker, 19 Kyle Baillie, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Tom Whiteley, 23 Dominic Morris
Tries: Tompkins, Gallagher, Ellery, Whiteley
Conversions: Malins (1/2)
Penalties: Malins (1/2) & Whiteley (2/2)
Yellow Cards: Segun, Streather
Parc y Scarlets