Jul 25, 2014
Saracens beaten in Montpellier
A youthful Saracens side were beaten 42-15 by Montpellier at the Stade Yves Du Manoir.
Wingers David Strettle and Nathan Earle (a second half substitute) were the try scorers, with fly-half Charlie Hodsgon kicking five points.
Saracens edged in front in the 21st minute when Charlie Hodgson sent over a long range penalty after Montpellier were penalised for being offside at the ruck.
Mark McCall‘s men extended their lead when David Strettle crossed for the games first try. Saracens were awarded a scrum on the half way line; No.8 Jackson Wray picked up from the base and powered his way down field for almost 40 metres before eventually being hauled down. From the breakdown, scrum-half Ben Spencer showed great vision and accuracy to find Strettle who raced onto the halfbacks well weighted chip to score. Hodgson converted expertly from the sidelines to make it 10-0 to the visitors.
As the half wore on, Montpellier scored their first of the night. Powerhouse No.8 Alex Tulou crashing over from a driving maul. As tempers flared between the two sides the referee blew his whistle as Saracens went into the dressing rooms with a 7-10 lead.
At the break Mark McCall rung the changes. Off went captain Alistair Hargreaves and lock partner Mouritz Botha, No.8 Jackson Wray, hooker Jamie George, try scorer David Strettle and fly-half Charlie Hodgson, as Saracens looked to give some of their younger stars the chance to shine.
It was Montpellier who scored first after the break, and would go on to dominate the rest of the half. Fabien Galthié’s charges would go on to score another three tries but it was one of Saracens young guns Nathan Earle scored the try of the evening with a scorching 65th minute effort.
The England Under 20 star received the ball from fellow Junior World Championship winner (replacement scrum-half) Henry Taylor, on the halfway line and showed electric pace to ease past two defenders to score in the left hand corner, in what was arguably the highlight of the game.
Montpellier had the final word of proceedings when Benoit Sicart crossed moments before the final whistle, as Saracens completed their first 80 minutes of preseason rugby as their preparations for the 2014/15 season continue.