Apr 15, 2018
Six try Saracens book semi final place with 41-6 win over Bath
Back at Allianz Park after seven weeks away Saracens put in a six try performance to dispatch Bath 41-6 in front of a sold out crowd in north London.
There was plenty to play for at Allianz Park this afternoon with Sarries looking to guarantee their place in the top four and Bath chasing the top six, and both sides started the encounter strongly as they looked to make an early impact on the game.
It was a dynamic opening ten minutes with both Saracens and Bath using the width of the pitch to create opportunities in each others’ 22. Saracens first real chance came courtesy of milestone man Chris Wyles, who was making his 250th club appearance. Wyles intercepted a stray Bath pass and sprinted upfield, offloading to Lozowski who was ultimately unable to shake his tackler. The passage of play brought a packed out Allianz Park to life and the roars continued when Saracens broke the scoreboard deadlock on the 16th minute mark. Schalk Brits was the try scorer, driving over from the back of the maul after a five metre line out. It capped a strong opening period for Brits who was given a standing ovation for his performance from the Allianz Park crowd when he eventually departed the field mid way through the second half.
Farrell’s conversion gave Saracens a 7-0 lead but the visitors were not short of opportunities of their own in the half, forcing Saracens to be alert in defence on a number of occasions to disrupt the visitors’ efforts.
The brace came for Saracens on 23 minutes thanks to the pace of Liam Williams who sprinted the length of the field after intercepting the ball before dotting down over the line. Farrell’s conversion bounced off the uprights but the home side held a 12-0 lead after the opening quarter.
Bath got themselves on the board with just under 15 minutes left to play in the half – Rhys Priestland hitting a straightforward penalty kick after Sarries were penalised in front of the sticks to narrow the gap, and the visitors continued to create opportunities in attack as the half wore on.
The best of those opporutnities for the visitors came on the half hour mark when Faletau and Brew combined to release scrum half Fotuali’i. The scrum half looked set for the try line but a stunning cover tackle from Nick Isiewke brought the Bath man down within metres of the line.
The sides traded penalties as the half wore down, Priestland adding a second for Bath before Farrell’s just before the 40 minute mark and the sides headed in at the break with the score set at Saracens 15 Bath 6
It didn’t take long after the break for Saracens to grab their third of the afternoon. This time it was Richard Wigglesworth who bagged the five points after fine footwork from Sean Maitland created the opportunity for the scrum half to cross over in the corner.
The bonus point came minutes later when Owen Farrell latched on to a loose Rhys Priestland pass and sprinted away down the pitch to score. The fly half converted his score to give Saracens a 29-6 lead with just under 50 minutes played.
Despite some positives moments for the visitors the moment was definitely in Saracens favour and the men in black added a fifth score to their tally with just under 10 minutes of the game left to play; quick hands setting up Schalk Burger who crossed over the whitewash in the corner to extend the lead. Burger’s effort was a well worked try for the men in black, starting with a break from Michael Rhodes, returning to action after injury, and helped by a bold hand off from Richard Barrington before the ball was worked out to Burger for the try.
Despite starting the game strongly Bath now looked depleted as the minutes on the clock ticked down. Saracens though still had something left in the tank, adding a sixth score with just minutes left on the clock when Ben Spencer broke away and crossed under the sticks. It was the icing on the cake for Saracens who had looked calm and composed for most of the afternoon, clinically taking their chances at every opportunity. Farrell converted the score as Saracens claimed a 41-6 victory which guarantees a top four finish for the north London side.