Aviva Premiership: Northampton 16 Saracens 63
PUBLISHED: 16:45 07 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:45 07 April 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Saracens bounced back from their Champions Cup exit with a crushing victory against Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens.
Mark McCall’s men scored nine tries, taking their tally against Northampton this season to 33 in just four matches. They have racked up a half-century of points on each occasion.
There were nine separate scorers, with Alex Lozowski, Schalk Brits, Ben Spencer, Mako Vunipola, Liam Williams, Chris Wyles, Sean Maitland, Jackson Wray and Nathan Earle all going over.
The Saints were well in the game at half-time, trailing just 15-13, with Reece Marshall having bagged a try on his first Premiership start.
But Saracens turned the screw in the second half, recovering from their European quarter-final defeat at Leinster with a stunning showing.
The hosts had the first big chance of the game but, after the ball was moved wide, Teimana Harrison missed a huge opportunity, knocking on with the line in sight.
And Saracens soon made the most of their escape, stringing together a tidy move that ended with Maitland sending an inside pass to Lozowski, who scored.
Farrell added the extras but he was soon landing a high shot on Saints scrum-half Cobus Reinach, giving Stephen Myler a penalty chance, which he took to cut the gap to four.
Farrell kicked a penalty to restore his team’s seven-point advantage but Northampton refused to be deterred and after kicking two penalties to the corner, they hit back.
Numbers were put into a big lineout drive and hooker Marshall picked the ball up, ran around the outside and scored in the corner.
Myler landed the touchline conversion and the scores were level, with the home faithful lifting the noise levels.
Northampton were soon ahead as Myler notched a penalty after another spell of pressure but Saracens responded immediately, sending hooker Brits over from a lineout drive.
Farrell missed the conversion to leave the gap at two points at the break, but Saracens soon extended their lead after the restart as scrum-half Spencer scored in the corner.
After again missing the conversio, Farrell was on target soon after as Vunipola bagged Saracens’ bonus-point score.
The successful conversion meant Saracens moved past 200 points against Saints in four meetings this season and it was a long way back for the hosts.
A Farrell penalty extended the Saracens lead further and things were unravelling rapidly for Northampton.
Williams was next to score, making the most of the acres of space he was afforded, before Wyles also registered, escaping the attentions of Ahsee Tuala.
Maitland was next over before Wray got the eighth and Farrell converted, sparking an exodus of frustrated home fans from Franklin’s Gardens.
There was still time for Saracens to ensure it was their biggest points tally of the season against Saints as Earle dived over in the corner.
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