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Match Report: Bristol Rugby 0 Saracens 39

30 Sep 2016
Match Report: Bristol Rugby 0 Saracens 39

Alex Lozowski toasted his first call-up to the England squad with a two-try haul, as Saracens bounced back from last weekend’s defeat with a 39-0 win at Bristol Rugby.

Saracens dominated the opening half but could only find their way over the whitewash once through the in-form Lozowski, with Ben Spencer adding a penalty to his conversion to make it 10-0 at the break.

But Lozowski went over again early in the second half, and that was a sign of things to come for the rampant visitors as Chris Wyles, Jamie George, and George Kruis all dotted down to ensure Saracens took a bonus-point win back to north London.

Two of the men selected in Eddie Jones’ England training squad earlier in the day were heavily involved early on, as Maro Itoje put pressure on the hosts and charged down Jordan Williams’ kick, before Lozowski began pulling the strings.

The No.10  looked to put Nick Tompkins through with a grubber kick on four minutes, but the ball rolled dead.

The first real chance of the game came on 12 minutes after a superb driving maul from Sarries earned them a penalty which Lozowski put into the corner.

And Bristol could not defend the catch-and-drive as the same man showed off some fine footwork to evade Jack Lam and cross for the game’s opening try – Spencer adding the extras.

Charlie Amesbury came close to latching on to Tusi Pisi’s crossfield kick as the hosts looked to hit back, but it was largely one way traffic with Mako Vunipola making some damaging runs.

And Mark McCall’s side extended their lead through Ben Spencer’s angled penalty, before the Aviva Premiership champions continued to pile on the pressure with Bristol conceding penalties and territory regularly.

Bristol’s defence did well to hold firm with Jordan Crane and Will Cliff combining well to clear their lines, although Brad Barritt came within inches of extending his side’s lead as he was held up inches short.

Saracens were still asking the questions, and after winning a scrum against the head Mike Ellery surged forward down the right flank – but his offload was adjudged to be forward by referee Ian Tempest and the score stayed at 10-0 until half-time.

A fine long-range penalty from Spencer just after the interval was ominous for Saracens, and another heroic effort from Lozowski saw him rewarded with his second try of the night as he charged down a Bristol clearance.

Spencer made no mistake with the conversion, and the visitors were in control at 20-0.

Andy Robinson’s side missed out on a golden opportunity on the Saracens five-metre line as first Maro Itoje rose highest to steal their lineout, before Bristol won the ball back only for the Saracens’ scrum to hold firm.

And McCall’s side made them pay as great hands from forwards Schalk Burger and Jackson Wray released Wyles to score in the left corner just before the hour mark, as Lozowski added to his tally with a touchline conversion.

Bristol were so unlucky not to score in the 66th minute as both Williams and Jack Wallace came close in quick succession after Saracens were caught offside.

But Saracens smelled blood when Max Crumpton was sent to the sin-bin for maul infringement, and on 72 minutes George powered over from close range at the back of a maul to secure the try bonus point.

George Perkins showed supreme pace to dot down but the TMO ruled out his effort on the grounding, although Saracens were not done just yet as Kruis reached over to touch down on his return from injury and put even more gloss on the scoreline.