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Match Report: Scarlets 17 Saracens 32 Match Report: Scarlets 17 Saracens 32

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Match Report: Scarlets 17 Saracens 32

27 Jan 2017
Match Report: Scarlets 17 Saracens 32

Saracens remain on track for the Anglo Welsh Cup semi-finals after moving top of their pool with a bonus-point 32-17 win at Scarlets.

The Aviva Premiership Rugby side headed to Wales to take on a side that were unbeaten at home this season since the opening weekend.

But Saracens proved too strong in the end, setting themselves up  for the win with a 18-0 half-time lead before trading two tries a piece with their opponents after the interval.

It did not take Saracens long to get on the board as Scarlets were penalised for not releasing the player with less than a minute on the clock and Max Malins made no mistake from right in front of the posts.

The hosts looked to respond and managed to work themselves up to the Saracens line, winning a scrum in the process but the Saracens defence held firm and turned the ball over.

Tim Streather’s grubber kick then released Mike Ellery on 14 minutes but Corey Baldwin was on hand to pull the Sarries man down and prevent a try. Malins then had another effort at the posts but dragged his shot wide.

But the visitors were not to be denied minutes later as Malins was involved again in the build up, with Nick Tompkins the one to finish off the sweeping move for the opening try of the night. Malins added the extra for 10-0.

After almost putting his team in with an earlier kick, Streather tried his luck again and this time full back Matt Gallagher was able to show his pace to gather and run over for Saracens’ second try on 23 minutes.

Scarlets did have a chance to get on the scoreboard four minutes later when Sarries were penalised at the breakdown but Jack Maynard was off target with his penalty.

The visitors remain in control until the break, with the returning Will Fraser looking lively while Malins took the score out to 18-0 with another penalty after a high tackle from Scarlets.

The hosts began the second half brightly and gained an early boost when Maynard landed his 25-metre penalty within two minutes of the restart.

And ten minutes later they had their opening try of the match as good forward work saw No.8 Morgan Allen go over from close range and Maynard’s conversion took the score to 18-10.

If the momentum was starting to move towards the Welsh side, they were handed another boost when Saracens were reduced to 14 men after 55 minutes following the sin-bin of winger Rotimi Segun for a reckless high challenge on Tom Williams.

But with Scarlets pushing up into their opponent’s half, it was actually Saracens who capitalised, stealing the line out before the ball was spread to Ellery on the wing and he collected his own kick ahead to score a superb solo try.

Replacement Tom Whiteley landed the conversion and the visitors had a 15-point cushion with 16 minutes to play.

That was swiftly reduced to eight when the hosts responded with their second try when Billy McBryde dived over out wide before adding the conversion himself.

But Saracens refused to panic and brought up try number four with five minute remaining as Whiteley executed a textbook show and go before bursting through and scoring. The scrum-half also added the extras to his try for 32-17.

There was still time for further late drama as Streather saw yellow for a high tackle and Williams thought he had scored in the corner but Scarlets but the effort was ruled out leaving the final score at 32-17.

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