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Match Reaction: Saracens 40 Dragons 21

Match Reaction: Saracens 40 Dragons 21

Saracens claimed their first Anglo-Welsh Cup win of the season with a dominant display against the Dragons at Allianz Park.

Harrison Keddie put the Dragons ahead but in a three-try burst just before half-time Saracens took the wind out of the visitors’ sails.

Mark Flanagan, Nick Tompkins and Rotimi Segun all crossed before the break and Matt Gallagher, Sean Reffell and Tom Whiteley added to the score in the second period.

Lloyd Fairbrother grabbed two for the Dragons in the second half but they could not prevent the European champions from claiming victory.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Saracens named a set of pacey backs and they terrorised the Dragons throughout the contest, especially Nick Tompkins.

The 22-year-old scored an electric try, gained metres virtually every time he was on the ball and was tenacious in the tackle.

With plenty of Saracens players away on international duty, he will hope this display helps him gain more minutes in the coming weeks.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

The first try for Saracens turned the game on its head. With Keedie crashing over from close range, the Dragons were in control before Mark Flanagan crossed the try-line just after the half-hour mark.

That sparked a blistering 10-minute spell and two further tries later, the hosts were in firm control of the match.

TRY OF THE MATCH

Tompkins effort in the first half was a display of pure pace. The centre picked up the ball in his own half and powerfully surged forwards.

The Dragons thought they had him covered but Tompkins was too quick for them and darted in for a 50-metre score that lit up a wet and windy Allianz Park.

WHAT THEY SAID

Saracens coach Adam Powell: “I thought we did really well today, with some of the individual performances,” said senior academy coach Powell.

“I thought Sione [Vailanu] had some really good carries, I thought Roti [Rotimi Segun] on the wing was very good, Max [Malins] controlled the game well at 10 and lots of others had good impacts on the game.

“More than the individual but the team stuck to their plan really well and executed what we wanted them to do.

“The forward pack did a lot of good things, loads of positives, loads of positives.”

Dragons coach Rhys Thomas: “You’re here to win games and however harsh it is; if you don’t do your job then someone else will come and do it for you, that’s just the way it is,” he said.

We knew it was going to be a hard place to come and play, even though they made a lot of changes and so have we.

“You don’t mean to play bad, but that’s just the way it was.”

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This year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Final will be at the iconic Kingsholm Stadium, home of Gloucester Rugby, on Sunday 18 March. To buy tickets and be part of an unforgettable occasion click here

 

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