Connect with us

Bristol Bears

Clinical Saracens waltz to victory over Bristol Bears

Saracens rally from a slow start to romp to a 41-20 victory over Bristol Bears.

A brace from Maro Itoje, alongside other scores from Roti Segun and Juan Martin Gonzalez secured maximum points for the defending champions.

Bristol came out the traps flying. Their typical brand of relentless, fast-paced attack marched them down the pitch, but it took a powerful pick-and-go from Joe Batley to eventually break down the Saracens defence and notch the first try of the game.

They extended their lead minutes later, as MacGinty knocked over a penalty goal.

An error from the resulting kick-off gifted Saracens the ball just 10 meters from the Bears’ line. Things quickly turned sour for the hosts too, as Siva Naulago was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on, which gave Owen Farrell an easy way to open his account from the tee.

A sloppy kick from Farrell then gifted the hosts a chance to strike, but a great turnover from Ivan van Zyl brought the attack to a halt.

Tom Parton in action for Saracens-Credit: IMAGO

Defence quickly turned into attack for the defending champions, however another penalty cost them at the crucial point and Bristol earned a reprieve.

They quickly made Saracens pay for their ill-discipline, as MacGinty slotted his second three-pointer of the game to restore Bristol’s 10-point lead.

Yet more errors from the Bears allowed Saracens a foothold in the contest, and it eventually pulled them level. Maro Itoje added his name to the scoresheet as he crashed over from short range, with Farrell adding the extras. Minutes later, Elliot Daly (deputising for the former England skipper) knocked over an easy penalty to restore parity.

Maro Itoje scores for Saracens-Credit: IMAGO

A fantastic 50:22 from Owen Farrell gave Saracens precious territory, and they made it count through Itoje for his second.

With the clock in the red, Ben Earl stole a Bristol lineout to keep Saracens 10-point lead in tact.

Saracens make Bristol pay for errors

A string of Saracens penalties allowed Pat Lam’s side to pile on the pressure in the early exchanges of the half, but the Saracens defence stood tall and Bristol came away with nothing.

A booming clearance kick from Daly pinned Bristol back in their own 22, and a clever turnover from Gonzalez gave the fullback another easy penalty.

Things quickly went bad for the defending champions, as they were reduced to 13 after two quick-fire yellow cards; and Bristol instantly rubbed salt into the wound as Harry Thacker flopped over from the base of the maul to score.

An error from the resulting kick-off again gifted Daly an easy three-pointer, giving his side a nine-point lead.

Juan Martin Gonzalez in action for Saracens-Credit: IMAGO

Now restored to the full compliment, Saracens notched two quick-fire tries to kill the game off. The first came through Rotimi Segun, as he crossed out wide after quick thinking from Owen Farrell. The second fell to Juan Martin Gonzalez, who finished off a stellar break Lucio Cinti.

With the clock winding down, Noah Heward looked to secure a final consolation try

Bristol Bears 20-41 Saracens

Bristol Bears: 20

Tries: Batley, Thacker

Conversions: MacGinty (1/1), Williams (1/1)

Penalties: MacGinty (2/2)

Yellow card: Naulago (13)

Saracens: 41

Tries: Itoje (2), Segun, Gonzalez

Conversions: Farrell (1/1), Daly (2/3)

Penalties: Farrell (1/1), Daly (4/4)

Yellow card: Itoje (50), Earl (53)