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.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 19:24

Middlesex have threatened to spoil Paul Collingwood’s swansong at the Emirates Riverside with a spirited fightback on day two of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash against Durham.

Yesterday, 15:00

Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm remain out injured, so Paulo Gazzaniga should deputise again at Stadium MK

Yesterday, 13:00

Paddington youngster represented her country in Spain

Yesterday, 11:00

The Spurs forward reflected on the 2-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion and the focus on his form

Yesterday, 10:00

Middlesex captain Dawid Malan admitted his side didn’t bat well enough on day one of their County Championship Division Two match at Durham.

Yesterday, 09:00

Amid an underwhelming season at Middlesex one man at least can allow himself a quiet smile of satisfaction.

Yesterday, 07:51

Stuart Law will leave his role as West Indies head coach to take over at Middlesex from next season.

Mon, 19:40

Durham have made the perfect start to Paul Collingwood’s final match, producing a strong performance to lead Middlesex by 106 runs on day one of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at Emirates Riverside.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

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