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Match Report: Saracens 48 Worcester Warriors 18

28 Nov 2015
Match Report: Saracens 48 Worcester Warriors 18

Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Saracens cemented their position at the top of the table with a crushing victory over Worcester Warriors in the opening game of the London Double Header.

Chris Ashton scored two tries, while Ben Spencer, Jackson Wray, Schalk Brits and Ben Ransom all crossed as the champions scored six tries in total in what was Ernst Joubert's final game
Saracens dominated from the off and were ahead after just four minutes when the outstanding Spencer set up Ashton.
Spencer went from provider to scorer when he was on hand following a break from Chris Wyles as the champions led 20-6 at the break.
They continued to control the game with a try from Wray early in the second half, before Ashton sealed the bonus point from a great counter-attacking score.
Saracens were not done yet, with Brits and Ransom also going over while Charlie Hodgson chipped in with 18 points as he crossed the 2500 point barrier in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
Worcester got two late consolation tries through replacement prop Joe Rees and a stunning score from GJ van Velze, but it was too little too late.
It took just four minutes for the reigning champions to show their class and get onto the scoreboard.
Saracens scrum-half Spencer threw a dummy and darted into space in the middle of the park, then a beautifully weighted kick to the right of the field fell perfectly for Ashton who gratefully collected and touched down in the right hand corner. Hodgson added the two points to put Saracens into an early lead.

The second try of the match came on 22 minutes, when Wyles broke down the left wing and a well-timed pass to inside runner Spencer saw the scrum-half cross over in the left corner.

Just six minutes later, Saracens almost increased their lead even further when Wray bundled his way over the line, but the TMO ruled that the ball had not been properly grounded. However Saracens ensured they left the Worcester half with something when Hodgson converted a penalty.

After just over half an hour played, Worcester chose to turn to Tom Heathcote’s boot to get them on the score board. The fly-half dispatched two penalties within three minutes to close the points gap.

Just before the whistle sounded for half-time, Hodgson kicked his side into a 20-6 lead to take into the interval.
Saracens were quickest out of the blocks for the second half – early pressure resulted in Wray touching down for the try on his second attempt. Hodgson’s reliable right boot secured another two points with the conversion.

After just under ten minutes played of the second half, the Worcester pack looked to be edging closer to the try-line, but excellent defence from Saracens saw them win the penalty and punt the ball to safety.

With 52 minutes gone, the Twickenham crowd were treated to an excellent phase of play when Saracens hooker Brits made a break through the centre of the field, offloaded to Hodgson who then played in Ashton for his second try of the evening to secure the bonus point. Hodgson’s conversion ensured the 35-year-old’s all-time Aviva Premiership Rugby points tally reached 2,500.

Five minutes later, Saracens' dominance continued when they scored their fifth try of the match. Hooker Brits touched down after a driving maul over the line, with Hodgson again converting.

Worcester’s miserable afternoon continued when flanker Phil Dowson was sent to the sin-bin on the 61 minute mark.

Saracens took advantage of their one man advantage when a clever dummy from full-back Ransom saw him cross in the left hand corner for Saracens’ sixth try with 15 minutes remaining. Hodgson again adding the bonus points with the conversion.

That was it for Saracens, but Worcester finished well, with Rees crossing after collecting the ball out of the tackle as Maro Itoje tried and failed to steal.
And they finished with one of the tries of the game, as Bryce Heem’s great break ended with skipper Van Velze going over.

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