Saracens cement top spot with Tigers demolition

Sat, 29 Oct 2016 17:24
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SATURDAY PREMIERSHIP WRAP: Defending champions Saracens cemented their place at the top of the standings with another impressive showing.

Saracens have enjoyed a great recent run against Leicester Tigers and the Premiership champions extended that run with a convincing 24-10 win at Allianz Park.

With just one loss all season, Mark McCall's side are once more positioning themselves as the team to beat in England, and ran in three tries to extend their lead at the top of the table.

* In the other Saturday match Joe Marchant's intercept try brought up the bonus point as Harlequins brushed aside Worcester Warriors 36-14 in a dominant second half.

We look at Saturday's matches!

Harlequins 36-14 Worcester Warriors

Joe Marchant's intercept try brought up the bonus point as Harlequins brushed aside Worcester Warriors 36-14 in a dominant second half.

Worcester were bright for much of the first 40 and went into the break at 7-7 after Jackson Willison had responded to Danny Care's early opening try.

But James Horwill and Mike Brown caught the Warriors cold within the first 10 minutes of the second half, and despite a try for a lively Ben Te'o, Marchant killed off the game in the final quarter before Tim Visser finished off proceedings.

The Warriors, who won in Premiership at the Stoop last season, looked full of vim and vigour from the off - with England prospect Te'o in particular making great strides through the Harlequins line.

But Harlequins opened the scoring and it was gift - Lamb, moments after missing a drop-goal, found a lurking Tim Visser and no one could catch the Scotland international before he sent Care over.

By the tenth minute Worcester were level as a well-crafted line-out move ending up in the hands of Te'o, who shrugged off a tackle and gave Willison a simple finish.

Big carries from Marland Yarde and Luke Wallace helped Harlequins get on top of the visitors for a spell, but a combination of poor passing and rugged defence - with wing Dean Hammond a standout - quelled the threat.

With Joe Marler sin-binned for collapsing a maul, Worcester ended the second half on the ascendancy but could add no further points.

The best chance fell to Alafoti Fa'osiliva and, despite his superb break, the Samoan flanker missed a wide open Willison perched on his shoulder.

Quins raced out of the blocks on the turnaround and Hammond denied Visser before the hosts made the breakthrough.

Former Australia captain Horwill plunged over following an irrepressible rolling maul and Nick Evans' conversion made it a seven-point lead.

And it seemed as if the Warriors were sinking without trace when Brown scythed through from just inside the 22-metre line and finished.

But to their credit the away side came roaring back as Lamb caused hesitance among the Harlequins ranks with his delayed pass to Willison - with Te'o then getting the try his general play deserved.

Jamie Shillcock, taking over kicking duties from Lamb, reduced the deficit to seven.

Phil Dowson's intercept nearly gave Worcester parity on the hour but the 35-year-old did not quite have the legs of Visser and was caught five metres short of the line.

Shortly after, Evans penalty stretched Quins' lead out to beyond a converted try before Marchant slammed the door shut on Worcester.

From the restart, Lamb was again intercepted deep into Worcester territory and the speedy Marchant streaked clear to put Harlequins 29-14 to the good with 15 minutes to go.

Visser then grabbed the try his performance deserved after replacement Alofa Alofa put him through at the death.

The scorers:

For Harlequins:
Tries:
Care, Horwill, Brown, Marchant, Visser
Cons: Evans 3, Swiel
Pen: Evans

For Worcester Warriors:
Tries:
Willison, Te'o
Cons: Shillcock 2

Yellow card: Joe Marler (Harlequins, 29)

Teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care (captain), 8 James Chisholm, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 James Horwill, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Will Collier, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Mat Luamanu, 20 Dave Ward, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Alofa Alofa.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Chris Pennell, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Ben Te'o, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Phil Dowson (captain), 7 Carl Kirwan, 6 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin.
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Na'ama Leleimalefaga, 18 James Johnston, 19 Charlie Hewitt, 20 Dewald Potgieter, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Josh Adams , 23 Wynand Olivier.

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Gregory M Garner, Roy Maybank
TMO: David Rose

Saracens 24-10 Leicester Tigers

Saracens have enjoyed a great recent run against Leicester Tigers and the Premiership champions extended that run with a convincing 24-10 win at Allianz Park.

With just one loss all season, Mark McCall's side are once more positioning themselves as the team to beat in England, and ran in three tries to extend their lead at the top of the table.

First-half scores from wing duo Chris Wyles and Sean Maitland allowed them to open up a comfortable 17-3 lead at the break.

Billy Vunipola then went over early in the second before brother Mako was sin-binned but Leicester struggled to take advantage initially.

However, with virtually his first involvement George Catchpole crossed and the rest of the half saw the visitors on the front foot but unable to go over again, and have still not won away to Saracens since 2012.

Saracens were first on the scoreboard with their ability to do the basics well crucial to Wyles' score. Winning the ball from a Leicester line-out, they went through three phases in the 22, before was played out to the wing through the hands with Jackson Wray delivering the final pass to the American to cross in the left corner. Owen Farrell converted from the touchline to make it 7-0.

Leicester responded with a penalty from Owen Williams after the home side had failed to roll away at the breakdown while inside their 22.

Farrell added a first penalty of the afternoon to stretch Saracens' lead back to seven, and they had soon extended it with a fine try for wing Maitland. After Alex Goode and Farrell had combined brilliantly, the flyhalf drawing the defender before putting Goode through a hole, the fullback then floated the ball out to Maitland to cross. Farrell duly converted to stretch the lead to 17-3.

He could have stretched the lead even further just before the break, but his penalty attempt bounced away off the outside of the post.

Deprived of injured duo George Kruis and Maro Itoje, the pressure was on the Saracens pack to show what they were made of, and they did just that early in the second half.

With a line-out inside the Leicester 22, Saracens turned to their maul, and quickly identified a weak point, powering through a crumbling defence before Billy Vunipola reached over. Farrell again converted.

It looked a long way back for Leicester, but their task was made a little easier just after the hour when Mako Vunipola was sent to the bin for taking out Freddie Burns after a little kick over the top.

Richard Cockerill replaced World Cup winner JP Pietersen with Catchpole and the move paid off. Burns spotted a gap in the Saracens defence and made the initial break and after quick ball from the next phase, Catchpole held off three defenders to crash over. Owen Williams converted.

The victory looked beyond them but there was still a chance of a losing bonus point. However a huge tackle on Ellis Genge from Brad Barritt forced a knock-on and the Tigers never got back into position to score.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries:
Wyles, Maitland, B Vunipola
Cons: Farrell 3
Pen: Farrell

For Leicester Tigers:
Try:
Catchpole
Con: Williams
Pen: Williams

Teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Brad Barritt (captain), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Mark Flanagan, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Marcelo Bosch.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Jack Roberts, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Logovi'i Mulipola, 19 Luke Hamilton, 20 Will Evans, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 George Catchpole.

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys, Matthew Carley
TMO: Rowan Kitt

Source: @premrugby

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