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Aviva A League round-up: Round 2

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Jacques Burger believes the mixture of youth and experience paid dividends as reigning champions Saracens Storm made it two wins from two in the Aviva A League on Monday night.

Storm got their title defence up and running with a hard-fought 25-20 win over Exeter Braves last week and were in fine form to down London Irish 36-5 at Allianz Park seven days later.

Front-rower Hayden Thompson-Stringer was the beneficiary from an inexorable catch-and-drive for Saracens before Nathan Earle dotted down a second try following Tim Streather’s assist.

Adam Sinclair powered over for the Exiles but that was as good as it got for the visitors with Tom Whiteley and replacement prop Ralph Adams-Hale securing the four-try bonus points for Saracens.

And Namibia international Burger, who started at openside flanker for Storm, believes his side showed their class to overcome the tricky conditions in north London.

“The boys came out here on a Monday night when it was cold, windy and wet – there were a lot of younger guys and a few older guys – and they had fun out there,” said Burger.

“The boys worked really hard and it means a lot to them. It was great to see a lot of people out there supporting us.

“I think we’re in a healthy spot as club when you see how well the A side is doing and how well the boys played.

“There were a lot of new guys who came in having not trained together at all. It’s great to get the performance we did tonight and come away with the win – I’m proud of the boys.”

Saracens are not top of the nascent Southern Conference however after Harlequins claimed their second bonus-point win in as many weeks by beating Bristol United 30-21.

With plenty of experienced heads on show, there were seven tries in total at the Stoop as Ross Chisholm, Ben Botica, Tim Swiel and George Merrick all crossed the whitewash.

They led 27-7 at one stage but the visitors fought back to within six points before Luke White sealed the victory with a penalty and Bristol academy manager Mike Hall is convinced his troops deserved more.

“The guys are immensely frustrated in there because we felt we did enough to at least get a losing bonus point and we could have even snuck it at the end,” said Hall.

“The difference was we were five metres from their line but we turned the ball over and they went up the other end to score.

“It’s fine margins but that’s what you get when you play good teams like Harlequins.”

Gloucester United also have two wins from two after they battled past Northampton Wanderers 12-6 at Franklin’s Gardens – Billy Burns outkicking Sam Olver four penalties to two.

There was a try-fest at Kingston Park as Newcastle Falcons crushed Worcester Cavaliers 75-22 with Belisario Agulla and Richard Mayhew both crossing twice for the hosts.

There was a more attritional battle at Welford Road as Leicester Tigers took on Sale Jets and George Worth’s last-minute penalty gave Tigers a 9-7 victory although Jets winger Charlie Ingall touched down for the game’s only score just after the 20-minute mark.

And Exeter Braves made sure it was an unhappy Monday night for Bath United as they were rampant in a 40-3 triumph over their rivals at the Rec.

Ben White, Chrysander Botha, Sam Simmonds, Ollie Atkins and Matt Jess all scored tries as the combined boots of Will Hooley and Joe Simmonds did the rest of the damage.

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