Saracens bounce back strongly

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:09
Large saracens v bristol action 800

PREMIERSHIP FRIDAY WRAP: Alex Lozowski toasted his first call-up to the England squad with a two-try haul in the Premiership on Friday.

He helped Saracens bounce back from last weekend's defeat with a 39-0 win at Bristol.

* In the other Friday match Harry Mallinder fired Northampton Saints to a 20-19 win over Exeter Chiefs.

In this match George North shone and Jim Mallinder's men sealed a first home Premiership win of the season.

We look at the Friday matches!

Bristol 0-39 Saracens

Alex Lozowski toasted his first call-up to the England squad with a two-try haul, as Saracens bounced back from last weekend's defeat with a 39-0 win at Bristol.

Saracens dominated the opening half but could only find their way over the whitewash once through the in-form Lozowski, with Ben Spencer adding a penalty to his conversion to make it 10-0 at the break.

But Lozowski went over again early in the second half, and that was a sign of things to come for the rampant visitors as Chris Wyles, Jamie George, and George Kruis all dotted down to ensure Saracens took a bonus-point win back to north London.

Two of the men selected in Eddie Jones' England training squad earlier in the day were heavily involved early on, as Maro Itoje put pressure on the hosts and charged down Jordan Williams' kick, before Lozowski began pulling the strings.

The No.10  looked to put Nick Tompkins through with a grubber kick on four minutes, but the ball rolled dead.

The first real chance of the game came on 12 minutes after a superb driving maul from Sarries earned them a penalty which Lozowski put into the corner.

And Bristol could not defend the catch-and-drive as the same man showed off some fine footwork to evade Jack Lam and cross for the game's opening try - Spencer adding the extras.

Charlie Amesbury came close to latching on to Tusi Pisi's crossfield kick as the hosts looked to hit back, but it was largely one way traffic with Mako Vunipola making some damaging runs.

And Mark McCall's side extended their lead through Ben Spencer's angled penalty, before the Aviva Premiership champions continued to pile on the pressure with Bristol conceding penalties and territory regularly.

Bristol's defence did well to hold firm with Jordan Crane and Will Cliff combining well to clear their lines, although Brad Barritt came within inches of extending his side's lead as he was held up inches short.

Saracens were still asking the questions, and after winning a scrum against the head Mike Ellery surged forward down the right flank - but his offload was adjudged to be forward by referee Ian Tempest and the score stayed at 10-0 until half-time.

A fine long-range penalty from Spencer just after the interval was ominous for Saracens, and another heroic effort from Lozowski saw him rewarded with his second try of the night as he charged down a Bristol clearance.

Spencer made no mistake with the conversion, and the visitors were in control at 20-0.

Andy Robinson's side missed out on a golden opportunity on the Saracens five-metre line as first Maro Itoje rose highest to steal their line-out, before Bristol won the ball back only for the Saracens' scrum to hold firm.

And McCall's side made them pay as great hands from forwards Schalk Burger and Jackson Wray released Wyles to score in the left corner just before the hour mark, as Lozowski added to his tally with a touchline conversion.

Bristol were so unlucky not to score in the 66th minute as both Williams and Jack Wallace came close in quick succession after Saracens were caught offside.

But Saracens smelled blood when Max Crumpton was sent to the sin-bin for maul infringement, and on 72 minutes George powered over from close range at the back of a maul to secure the try bonus point.

George Perkins showed supreme pace to dot down but the TMO ruled out his effort on the grounding, although Saracens were not done just yet as Kruis reached over to touch down on his return from injury and put even more gloss on the scoreline.

The scorers:

For Bristol:

For Saracens:
Lozowski 2, Wyles, George, Kruis
Cons: Spencer 2, Lozowski 2
Pens: Spencer 2


Bristol: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Ryan Edwards, 13 Jack Tovey, 12 Will Hurrell, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Jack Lam (captain), 6 Jon Fisher, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 James Phillips, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Ross McMillan, 1 Kyle Traynor.
Replacements: 16 Max Crumpton, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Gaston Cortes, 19 Joe Joyce, 20 Mitch Eadie, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Jack Wallace.

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Brad Barritt (captain), 11 Matt Gallagher, 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus De Plessis, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Scott Spurling, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Michael Rhodes, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Marcelo Bosch, 23 George Perkins.

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Jonathan Healy, Paul Burton
TMO: Stuart Terheege

Northampton Saints 20-19 Exeter Chiefs

Harry Mallinder fired Northampton Saints to a 20-19 win over Exeter Chiefs as George North shone and Jim Mallinder's men sealed a first home Premiership win of the season.

Rob Baxter watched his men surrender a 13-point lead after Gareth Steenson kicked two penalties and converted Olly Woodburn's try before Saints came surging back.

But George North was once again the rallying point for Saints, stunning Chiefs with a try and a remarkable assist for Rory Hutchinson to steal a half-time 14-13 lead.

A tense second-half saw Steenson and Mallinder trade penalties before the youngster snatched victory with two minutes remaining.

A strong Chiefs start was rewarded when Steenson knocked over three points after Saints were penalised for collapsing a maul.

Baxter must have been purring after watching his side score the game's first try with a wonderfully constructed first try.

After a period of sustained pressure, Steenson fed Ollie Devoto, the former Bath man taking the ball flat to the line and dropping in a pass to Henry Slade, who threw a perfect flat ball to Woodburn to finish one-handed in the corner, before Steenson converted.

Steenson struck his second penalty of the game when Northampton were penalised at the breakdown before the hosts sprung into life.

French No.8 Louis Picamoles could have clawed Saints back into it after he bust through several tackles only to throw a wayward pass.

Northampton were piling on the pressure and George Pisi found Picamoles with a cute offload , the back-rower shifting the ball for North to finish strongly - dragging two men over with him in the corner and Mallinder converted from the touchline.

British & Irish Lions winger North - phenomenal in defeat to Wasps last week - then, almost single-handedly, conjured one of the great Aviva Premiership tries.

Straight from the kick-off, North stepped through two tackles, before accelerating around a wide defender and heading inwards to support, finding Nic Groom with a perfectly-timed pass before Hutchinson raced home unchallenged under the posts for a converted try.

And it was Saints who finished the half stronger, buoyed by North's brilliance, while Steenson missed a relatively kickable penalty for Exeter to give the hosts an unlikely 14-13 lead.

Both sides looked nervy after the break, and Steenson provided the first points from the tee - knocking over a penalty after Chiefs capitalised on Ben Foden's slip.

Saints found themselves with large amounts of possession, but it was Steenson who kept the scoreboard ticking and turned the screw further in Chiefs favour with his fourth penalty of the evening on 66 minutes, taking him past 2,000 points for the Devon side.

Mallinder eventually got Northampton on the board in the second half with a penalty two minutes later.

And it was the English youngster who showed nerves of steel to crack the winning penalty with two minutes remaining.

The scorers:

For Northampton Saints:
North, Hutchinson
Cons: Mallinder 2
Pens: Mallinder 2

For Exeter Chiefs:
Con: Steenson
Pens: Steenson 4


Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden (captain), 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 George North, 10 Harry Mallinder, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Campese Ma’afu, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Sam Olver, 23 Ahsee Tuala.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Henry Slade, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Kai Horstmann, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Jack Yeandle (captain), 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Ben White, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Jack Nowell.

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Gareth Copsey, Simon McConnell
TMO: Graham Hughes

Source: @premrugby

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