Premiership: Saracens 36 Northampton 17
PUBLISHED: 17:22 02 March 2019
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Saracens inflicted more misery on Northampton as they claimed a comfortable win in the Gallagher Premiership at Allianz Park.
The hosts, who have now won their past nine matches against the Saints and have scored more than 50 points against them on all four occasions last season, cruised to victory to ensure their winning run at home is now 17 games in all competitions.
Sean Maitland scored twice with Nick Tompkins, David Strettle, Tom Woolstencroft, a penalty try and two conversions from Ben Spencer adding to their tally.
Northampton went into the game in good form, having won four of their past five league matches, rising to fifth in the process.
But they had few answers to the power and accuracy of Saracens, only scoring twice, through Reece Marshall and skipper Lewis Ludlam.
The Saints had suffered an injury blow in the warm-up as fly-half James Grayson was forced to withdraw, meaning full-back George Furbank switched to 10 with Ahsee Tuala moving to 15 and Tom Collins coming in on the wing.
And Northampton were soon reeling as Jackson Wray started a big Saracens break, which ended with Scotland wing Maitland scoring in the corner.
Scrum-half Spencer added the extras and it was an ominous start from Sarries as they raced into a 7-0 lead after just four minutes.
Rory Hutchinson responded for Northampton with a quick penalty but Saracens soon had a second score as centre Tompkins spotted a gap and raced through it to dot down.
Spencer missed the conversion but he soon made amends after wing Strettle was presented with the freedom of Allianz Park to run in down the right.
Luther Burrell, on for the injured Fraser Dingwall, was then sent to the sin-bin and Saracens took immediate advantage, sending Maitland over for his second.
It meant the bonus point had been secured inside half an hour and it just kept getting worse as hooker Woolstencroft scored from a lineout drive.
That five-try first-half blitz made it 29-3 at the break, as Saints gave themselves a mountain to climb in the final 40 minutes.
And the second half did not start any better for Northampton as Alex Mitchell was sent to the sin-bin for a no-arms tackle, which prompted to referee Luke Pearce to award a penalty try.
Saints did finally manage to get their first try 20 minutes from time, with replacement hooker Marshall dotting down from a line-out drive.
Hutchinson converted and he was doing so again after a lovely move involving Burrell and Hutchinson resulted in skipper Ludlam scoring out wide.
The game then petered out with Saracens able to keep the Saints at bay, ensuring the hosts would earn a comfortable victory and bounce back from last week’s defeat at Gloucester.