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Match Report: Saracens 41 Sale Sharks 13

23 Sep 2017
Match Report: Saracens 41 Sale Sharks 13

Liam Williams crossed on his home debut and Ben Spencer bagged a double as Saracens used a fast start to cruise to a third victory of the Aviva Premiership Rugby season against Sale Sharks.

Williams and Spencer both went over inside the first ten minutes for Sarries – who lost Billy Vunipola to a first-half injury – as Owen Farrell was flawless from the tee.

Faf De Klerk, parachuted into the fly-half role after the late withdrawal of AJ MacGinty, pulled back a penalty for the Sharks but the defending European champions were 17-3 to the good at the break.

And the hosts turned on the style in the second half of their first game of the season at Allianz Park, Spencer grabbing his second of the afternoon before Vincent Koch sealed the bonus-point win.

Byron McGuigan grabbed two consolation scores for the Sharks but there was also time for replacement Nathan Earle to canter over for Sarries’ fifth in a dominant victory.

Mark McCall’s side are unbeaten in their last six meetings with Sale and the first try of the afternoon did not take long to materialise.

Williams’ initial break down the left made the inroads before Spencer sniped round the fringes to dot down in the sixth minute.

And moments later they had a second, Williams the beneficiary this time as Spencer spotted a gap down the short side to put the winger over in the left corner.

De Klerk then slotted a penalty to get Sale on the board but two penalties either side of the interval from Farrell – despite a painful looking knee injury to Billy Vunipola that saw him withdrawn – stretched the lead to 20-3.

Farrell then broke the line to release Spencer for their third try while at the other end Josh Charnley knocked on in the act of grounding what would have been a fantastic solo score.

And it was Koch who grabbed the all-important fourth score in the 64th minute, barrelling over from close range.

McGuigan grabbed two late consolations for the Sharks in the right corner, the latter from a lovely chip from Ben Curry who replaced his equally impressive twin brother Tom, either side of Earle’s touchdown in the left corner.

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