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Saracens 78 London Welsh 7

20 Dec 2014
Saracens 78 London Welsh 7

Saracens left their recent Aviva Premiership Rugby form in the dust as they notched 11 tries over winless London Welsh to return to the play-off spots.

Mark McCall’s men had not secured a league victory for more than two months but that winning feeling returned with consecutive triumphs over Sale Sharks during the European break.

And they didn’t give Welsh a sniff at Allianz Park, as Mako Vunipola (2), Brett Sharman, George Kruis and Chris Ashton all crossed in the first half.

Cross-code convert Elliot Kear did respond for the Exiles but Sarries made the scoreline even more emphatic as replacement Richard Wigglesworth grabbed a hat-trick of tries, in addition to scores from Jackson Wray, Richard Barrington and Ben Ransom. The eagle-eyed Owen Farrell converted ten tries of 11.

It proved the perfect send-off for Saracens stalwart Mouritz Botha – who came on as a replacement – in his final appearance before moving back to South Africa.

Exiles wing Seb Stegmann gave away a kickable penalty early on and after Farrell decided to go for touch instead, Vunipola burrowed over to score a try.

Farrell, who in total notched 23 points from the tee, converted and then bagged a penalty, before the England fly-half got himself involved in a flowing move with Neil de Kock.

That nearly resulted in an Ashton try but after he was held up on the try-line, Sharman was eventually adjudged to have touched down after referee Ian Tempest consulted the TMO.

Kruis made it a hat-trick of tries for the Saracens pack when he piled through the Welsh defence beneath the posts, with Farrell nailing the conversion once more.

Then a mighty leap from Kruis gave Saracens possession from a line-out, and Vunipola scurried over for his second converted try to snatch the bonus point by the half-hour.

Try number five came after a blistering run by Ashton down the right, with Farrell doing well to make the conversion.

The Exiles did however get off the mark when Peter Browne slipped a pass through to Kear and Will Robinson converted the extras.

Sarries kept the pace up after the break as flanker Wray scored  a try from a rolling maul after 48 minutes.
And minutes later Allianz Park was in seventh heaven as replacement Barrington bagged a converted try on the hour mark.

A wonderful jinking run by fellow substitute Wigglesworth saw him dance through the Welsh defence to touch down, and moments later Ransom used his speed to race away for Sarries’ ninth try of the day.

Wigglesworth then bagged two more tries in quick-fire fashion, the first of which came from a lovely shimmy and pass from Farrell, as Welsh’s miserable day came to an end.

For more news, try out London Welsh Match Report Saracens