Saracens maintain 100 per cent start to Champions Cup campaign with victory over Lyon
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Sarries made it two out of two in their Champions Cup campaign.
Saracens maintained a perfect start to their Champions Cup campaign with a 29-10 victory over Lyon thanks to a fantastic individual try from Maro Itoje and others from Sean Maitland, Brad Barritt and Alex Lewington.
Sarries raced into a 17-0 lead in nearly as many minutes, as Owen Farrell got the first points on the board with a penalty from inside 10 metres after just three minutes.
Flanker Maro Itoje showed exactly why he is so highly rated and why Eddie Jones continues to select him for England, when on 13 minutes he ripped the ball from Etienne Oosthuizen on the half way line and charged 50 metres down the filed before sliding through the posts.
Farrell was on hand to follow up with the extras.
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Sarries had won their last 13 matches, and started this season’s Champions Cup campaign in a brutal 12-3 win over Glasgow Warriors last week, but Allianz Park saw a very different type of game tonight.
Both sides were looking to run the ball at every opportunity and the joint Gallagher League leaders stretched out in front when Jean-Marc Doussain fumbled for Lyon a few metres in front of his own line, and Sean Maitland capitalised on the fly-half’s howler.
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Lyon were outplayed for the best part of the opening half hour, and their only points came from the boot of outside half Lionel Beauxis.
Former All-Black Rudi Wulf looked dangerous when running at Saracen’s fabled Wolf Pack defence – but the side – whose nickname back home is strangely enough also the Wolf Pack – couldn’t convert.
Five minutes into the second half captain Brad Barritt went over in a rolling maul for Saracens with his 17th try for the club, and Sarries 100th in the Champions Cup. Referee George Clancy went to TMO for confirmation.
Lyon winger Toby Arnold was left scratching his head on 53 minutes when he intercepted a pass and suffered an unlucky bounce.
He intercepted the ball it ballooned into the air, but as it returned to the ground it stopped and went a couple of yards backwards when for all the world it looked like he would be flying between the posts.
The visitors grabbed a consolation try in the second half when substitute hooker Virgile Lacombe sneaked the ball over the line following a clever quick tap from a penalty by Doussain.
However that was the closest the French side came to Saracens, and with just two minutes left Alex Lewington – who only joined the north London side in the summer - put the icing on the cake and got the fourth try to guarantee Saracens earned a bonus point.
Saracens: Goode; Williams, Tompkins (Thompson-Stringer 72), Barritt (cap), Maitland (Lewington 59); Farrell, Spencer; Barrington (Bosch 72), George (Lamositele 72) Koch (Tolofua 61), Skelton, Kruis, Itoje, Rhodes (Earl 68), Wray.
Try: Itoje, Maitland, Barritt, Lewington
Cons: Farrell (3)
Replacements not used: Burger, Wigglesworth.
Lyon: Buttin; Arnold, Wulf, Seguret, Palisson, Beauxis, Doussain, Kaabeche, Maurouard, Ric, Lambey, Oosthuizen, Cretin, Sobela, Fourie.
Replacements: Lacombe, Buckle, Van Der Merwe, Fearns, Barassi, Mignot, Delord.