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Match Reaction: Saracens 50-27 Bath Rugby

Match Reaction: Saracens 50-27 Bath Rugby

Saracens made it five bonus-point wins from five in the Gallagher Premiership thanks to Liam Williams’ hat-trick against Bath Rugby.

The Blue, Black and Whites took an early 3-0 lead with a penalty from Rhys Priestland, but it was only fleeting as the defending champions continued their perfect start to the season.

Once Welsh international Williams scored the first try for the north London side they never looked back, consigning Bath to their second defeat of the season.

The 27-year-old was one of six try scorers on the day, with Alex Goode, Jamie George, Nick Tompkins, Sean Maitland and Christopher Tolofua also going over as the hosts reached a half-century of points.

Bath remained in touch at the break thanks to interception tries from Chris Cook and Tom Homer, who added another in the second half, but they had no answer to a ruthless Saracens.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Williams’ second hat-trick of the season may see him get all the headlines, but he would not have got two of them without the aid of the impeccable Goode.

The full-back was a menace all afternoon and his excellent footwork saw him expose the Bath backline on numerous occasions during the first half.

One such occasion saw him score his try, and he seemed to be at the heart of everything in an attacking sense for the Men in Black as he set up two of Williams’ tries.

His only disappointment will be knocking on when attempting to ground the ball from his own grubber kick.

TRY OF THE MATCH

Saracens’ handling was excellent throughout the match and it resulted in quick transition and some wonderful tries, but Bath’s Tom Homer claims this accolade with his second try.

The hosts had an overload on the right-hand side and looked for all the money in the world as though they were going to add another five points.

But the 28-year-old winger had other ideas and leapt to intercept Owen Farrell’s pass, before succeeding in running the length of the field and crossing the whitewash, leaving the chasing pack in his wake.

It may have not counted for a lot but Bath’s second intercepted try of the game was one to savour for the travelling supporters.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

It may not be a moment that many would have noticed, but Farrell’s conversion for Goode’s try was of particular significance.

The fly-half had failed to convert Liam Williams’ try in the corner from a tight angle, but he had no such problems a few minutes later after Goode scored.

The conversion saw Farrell become Saracens’ all-time leading scorer in the Gallagher Premiership, a fine achievement from the 27-year-old.

WHAT THEY SAID

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall said: “It was a crazy game. We were loose at times but equally at times we played some brilliant, brilliant rugby, so I don’t need to be too downbeat, we scored 50 points, scored some brilliant tries, played some good attacking rugby throughout.

“I think today it felt the most connected we’ve been in attack, it felt that we had options on both sides of the ball, and Alex Goode obviously was instrumental in that, his ability to get back into the game after doing something was extraordinary.

“If you watch his movement, he is in a breakdown and then he’d go contribute somewhere else. He was really quite amazing.

“But we made some sloppy errors and gifted them a couple of tries, it was a little bit frustrating but not the end of the world. Defensively we didn’t have the intensity in the first half, but we got it a bit better in the second half.”

Bath director of Rugby Todd Blackadder said: “I think there were parts of it (the game) that were fantastic. I liked the fact that we tried to play. I think there is a lot of learning that will come out of today for us. They’re a good quality side, that’s what I see, they know how to pressure you.

“We were really struggling to get out of our 22, they put a lot of heat on you and we ended up giving them possession back. When we were kicking to them we let them out far too easily.

“It’s a game of how you handle pressure and at times I thought our basics let us down and against quality teams they punish you for it.

“We wanted to give guys opportunities today and to rest some players for next Friday, we wanted to test our squad and see where they are.

“On the back of it we are creating more depth, freshening people up and learning about ourselves. I think today even though we didn’t get what we were after, we were really chasing the bonus point today, so to come away with something means I still think we’ll take a lot out of today.”

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