Jan 27, 2018
Six try Sarries overcome Dragons in Anglo-Welsh Cup
In wet and wintry conditions Saracens got their Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign off the mark with a six try victory over welsh region Dragons.
Saracens got off the board early in the game when Dragons were penalised just outside their 22, fly half Max Malins stepping up to land the three points, but it was somewhat scrappy opening period to the game as both sides struggled with the wet weather.
For long periods of the opening twenty minutes it was the visitors who held much of the possession, pressurising the Saracens 22 in search of a score. The men in black held firm though, showcasing quick reactions and punishing tackles to contain the welsh side. The pressure eventually told however and on the 21st minute Dragons captain Harrison Keddie crossed the whitewash to get his team off the mark and in to a 3-7 lead.
With the rain falling hard in north London the remainder of the half seemed to stop and start as the wet ball slipped away from both sides, until just after the half hour mark when Saracens bagged their first try of the afternoon. The score itself was an impressive team effort set up by Max Malins who dummied his defenders to free Rotimi Segun who broke away before offloading to flanker Mark Flanagan who dived over in the corner. A tricky conversion from Malins bounced off the upright but Sarries held a slender 8-7 lead.
It was not long until Saracens were in again, this time with a stunning solo effort from centre Nick Tompkins who showed his pace to break away and sprint from the half way line to score. The scores seemed to energise Saracens and on the stroke of half time Adam Powell’s side added a third try to their tally. Rotimi Segun breaking down the wing to score in the same corner Flanagan had conquered just moments earlier. Malins’ touchline conversion flew just wide but Sarries were in the ascendancy, holding a 20-7 lead at the break.
The home start flew out of the traps in the second forty to build upon their positive end to the first half. Sione Vailanu, who enjoyed another afternoon of buising runs and powerful carries, sliced through the Dragons defence before offloading to fullback Matt Gallagher who crossed to score and secure the bonus point.
Sarries seemed to go off the boil for a time after the score as the pace of the game slowed and Dragons looked to fight their way back in to the game. A line out close to the Saracens try line gave the visitors the chance to secure their second score of the afternoon and, with the power of the pack behind him, it was Robson Blake who bundled over just before the hour mark.
Much like in the first half however Saracens finished the second forty in style. The home side were rewarded for their own pressure from the forwards on the 70 minute mark as substitute back rower Sean Reffell was driven over the line. Just three minutes later the home side struck again when Tom Whiteley displayed quick feet to dart his way around the Dragons defence before making a b-line for the whitewash. Saracens were in control now, the score bringing up the forty point mark for the men in black with just over five minutes left to play.
Dragons would not give up though and it was the Welsh side who had the final say in the game, Lloyd Fairbrother piling over the line on 80 minutes. Final score Saracens 40 Dragons 21; the Men in Black securing their first win of this season’s Anglo-Welsh campaign.
15 Matt Gallagher,14 Oli Morris (Stirzaker 52'), 13 Nick Tompkins,12 Reuben Bird-Tulloch (D.Morris 56'), 11 Rotimi Segun,10 Max Malins (Gliksten 75'), 9 Tom Whiteley, 1 Hayden Thompson-Stringer (Lamositle 52'), 2 Scott Spurling (McElroy 69'),3 Kieran Longbottom (Figallo 65'), 4 Dominic Day (Cutmore 61'), 5 Mark Flanagan, 6 Jack Nay (Reffell 57'), 7 Ben Earl ©, 8 Sione Vailanu;
16 Tadgh McElroy, 17 Titi Lamositele, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Danny Cutmore, 20 Sean Reffell, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Dominic Morris, 23 Alex Gliksten:
Scores Tries Flanagan 32', Tomkins 35', Segun 40',Gallagher 41',Reffell 70',Whiteley 73'.
Conversions Malins 2/6
Penalties Malins 2/3
15 Carl Meyer, 14 Pat Howard( Wellington 44'), 13 Sam Beard( Sage 56'), 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Zane Kirchner, 9 Dan Babos (C.Morris 69'); 1 Sam Hobbs (Ellis 65'), 2 Liam Belcher (Shipp 65'), 3 Nicky Thomas (Fairbrother 50'), 4 Max Williams (H.Williams 60), 5 Rynard Landman, 6 James Sheeky (Wainwright 14'), 7 Harrison Keddie ©, 8 Robson Blake.
Replacements;16 Ellis Shipp,17 Gerard Ellis,18 Lloyd Fairbrother,19 Henri Williams,20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Callum Morris, 22 Jarryd Sage,23 Calvin Wellington.
Scores Tries Keddie 22',Belcher 59', Fairbrother 80'.
Conversions Kirchner 2/3
Man of the Match: Rotimi Segun