Rugby Union: Saracens want to tame Dragons in Anglo-Welsh Cup

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 January 2018

Saracens' Sean Maitland scores their fifth try during the European Rugby Champions Cup clash against Northampton Saints (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

Saracens' Sean Maitland scores their fifth try during the European Rugby Champions Cup clash against Northampton Saints (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Sarries return to Anglo-Welsh Cup buoyed by qualification for European Champions Cup quarter-finals

Saracens' Nick Isiekwe during the European Rugby Champions Cup clash against Northampton Saints (pic: Paul Harding/PA) Saracens' Nick Isiekwe during the European Rugby Champions Cup clash against Northampton Saints (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

Saracens are back in Anglo-Welsh Cup action on Saturday when they host Welsh side Dragons.

With a youthful line-up expected, it means many of Sarries’ more experienced heads can reflect on a job well done in the European Champions Cup.

A 62-14 thrashing of Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on Saturday was enough to see the north Londoners scrape through to the knockout stages as the eighth seeds.

Mark McCall’s men face a daunting task in the quarter-finals, with a trip to Leinster, who won all six games in the pool stages, to come over the Easter weekend.

When that tie comes around, Saracens will hope for a similar display to the one that defeated Saints, which pleased captain Brad Barritt.

“Saturday wasn’t a result of our 80-minute performance, it was a testament to the week we had,” the centre told the club website.

“We had a steely determination, a focus and a clear game plan for what we wanted to achieve. “

Saracens had to overcome a few setbacks to beat Saints, including a string of injuries.

Having lost Michael Rhodes, Billy Vunipola and Jackson Wray to injury last week, Sarries also had to contend with the late withdrawal of Liam Williams from Saturday’s starting XV.

In the end, it proved to be no hindrance as the Allianz Park outfit ran in seven tries in total, and Barritt was delighted with how well the hosts performed in adversity.

“The win was about the Saracens character. We spoke volumes about what it means to be a Saracen,” added the England international.

“For us, it’s having character and showing that when things are slightly going down, we’re able to pick ourselves back up.

“That was the case with the first 10 minutes; there were a few thunderbolts, but the way we reacted to that was a testament to what we’re about.”

Alex Goode marked his 250th appearance for Saracens with a try in the rout, and Barritt was only too happy to pay tribute to his colleague.

“For Goodey, it’s an unbelievable milestone. To be 29 and playing some of the best rugby of his career, he’s still an unbelievable player and we’re very lucky to have him at Saracens,” said the 31-year-old.

“It was a special day for him and pleased we could pull the performance out.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

44 minutes ago

New Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been in bullish form on his first day in the job after chief executive Ivan Gazidis unveiled the 46-year-old Spaniard on Wednesday – insisting the North London giants can catch Manchester City next season.

North London and South Hampstead will do battle this weekend in Division Three while Division Two outfit Hornsey visit Wycombe House


Spaniard has been chosen to replace legendary Frenchman at the helm of the Premier League club

The N8 club failed to defend a total of 332 against their local rivals last weekend, but will aim to bounce back on Saturday against Finchley

The 24-year-old Londoner discussed the importance of believing and highlighted the success of other not fancied teams in the past


Batsman opened against Essex, but came in at number three against Kent

The Shepherd’s Cot club chased down 333 against their local rivals at the weekend to win for the first time since promotion to the top flight


Football’s worst kept secret is out – Arsenal have officially confirmed Unai Emery will become the club’s new head coach.


Wembley Sailing Club is hosting a Push the Boat Out event on Sunday May 20, where those interested in taking up the sport are invited to experience the club in action.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now