Saracens want to avoid being sinners at Saints
PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 September 2018
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Wales wing scored hat-trick of tries in success at home to Bristol Bears last weekend
Saracens will want to avoid another sluggish first-half showing when they visit Northampton Saints in the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday.
At home to Bristol Bears last week, the north Londoners found themselves 18-13 down at the break against the newly-promoted side.
Sarries were sure to have been subjected to some stern words from director of rugby Mark McCall at the interval, but they did the trick as they eventually ran out 44-23 winners.
Liam Williams came off the bench to score a second-half hat-trick to help the Allianz Park outfit turn things around against Bears, who spent much of the second half with 14 men after George Smith was sent off.
But the Wales wing knows Saracens cannot afford to turn in another poor first-half showing at Northampton this weekend. “We were pretty terrible in the first half (against Bristol) and we didn’t look after the ball well enough,” said the British & Irish Lions tourist.
“Our work at the breakdown wasn’t good enough, but we were able to sort that out in the second half and come away with the win.”
Williams’ hat-trick was a great way for the wing to make his seasonal bow, having missed the win at Newcastle Falcons on the opening weekend of the season.
The former Scarlets flyer saw his pre-season disrupted by a groin injury, though Williams returned to action a week ahead of schedule by featuring against Bristol.
And the 27-year-old was delighted to make such an impact in his first outing of the new term.
“It was nice to get a hat-trick. It was my first game back and I only played half an hour, so to come away with three tries was good,” he added.
“As long as I help the team, I’m happy.”
With injuries to fellow wings David Strettle and Sean Maitland, Williams appears to have timed his return to action well and could be back in the starting XV, rather than on the bench, sooner rather than later.
But the 27-year-old refused to be drawn on that, instead reiterating his happiness at being back out on the pitch following his groin injury.
“I don’t want to look too far ahead, but it was nice to be back out there with the lads and I look forward to the next game.”
Another hat-trick of tries, or even just one, for Saracens from Williams would no doubt go down a treat at Northampton this weekend.