GALLERY: Saracens 27-9 Bristol Rugby
Posted: Saturday, April 29th 2017
Saturday, April 29th 2017
Saturday, April 29th 2017
Aviva Premiership Rugby
|Tompkins, Ashton, du Plessis (2)||Tries|
Venue: Allianz Park
Ref: Andrew Jackson
A gritty and determined Bristol performance wasn’t enough to prevent them from going down 27-9 to reigning Premiership and European champions Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday.
Mark Tainton’s side had led 9-3 at the break thanks to three Gavin Henson penalties, with Owen Farrell pulling one back for the hosts.
But Sarries hit back with four second half tries courtesy of Petrus Du Plessis (2), Nick Tompkins and Chris Ashton to record a bonus-point victory.
Bristol were afforded an early let off when Owen Farrell’s seventh minute penalty drifted wide from 40 metres.
Chris Ashton then spurned an opportunity for the game’s opening try when he spilled Lozowski’s pass when in the clear, as the hosts exerted their dominance in the opening quarter.
The wing almost made amends minutes later, fly hacking through and collecting to touch down, only for referee Andrew Jackson to rule him offside and disallow the score. From the resulting penalty, Henson fired Bristol into an unlikely lead with 25 minutes played.
The Welshman doubled the Bristol advantage with another long-range effort as Mark Tainton’s side began to find their feet at Allianz Park.
A penalty at scrum time saw Henson make it three from three on 32 minutes before Farrell got the Premiership and European champions on the board five minutes before the break.
After a series of near misses in the first half, Saracens crossed for the first try of the afternoon seven minutes into the second as Chris Ashton collected his own grubber to finish in the corner. Farrell’s conversion edged the home side into a one-point lead.
The hosts then hit Bristol with a quick-fire double, as replacement prop Petrus Du Plessis bundled over from close range, before Nick Tompkins collected Lozowski’s well-timed pass to scamper in for a 20-9 score line.
Farrell’s uncharacteristically poor afternoon from the kicking tee continued with two further misses to leave him one from five.
But the England man made no mistake with his sixth effort, after Du Plessis had crashed over for his second and Sarries’ fourth try, to seal a bonus-point win for the hosts.
A dogged defensive effort had kept Saracens at bay for 40 minutes, before Chris Ashton's try early in the second half. But the former England wing's 47th minute try, together with a quick-fire double from Du Pleases and Tompkins, made it three tries in 15 minutes and put the game to bed.
This was a typically committed display from Olly Robinson on his return to the starting fifteen, particularly in defence. The flanker led the Bristol line with a series of characteristic chop tackles as well as affecting two turnovers at the breakdown.
But Robinson also impressed in attack, with the limited possession Bristol had, linking play and carrying well against an organised Sarries defence.
Bristol Rugby: Jason Woodward (Pisi 65); Ryan Edwards, Will Hurrell, Gavin Henson (Piutau 60), Jack Tovey; Billy Searle, Alby Mathewson (Williams 60); Jack O’Connell (Dawe 65), Marc Jones (c) (Crumpton 60), Gaston Cortes (Ford-Robinson 40), James Phillips (Glynn 60), Mark Sorenson (Fenton-Wells 60), Sam Jeffries, Olly Robinson, Mitch Eadie.
Replacements: Max Crumpton, Ollie Dawe, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Ben Glynn, Nick Fenton-Wells, Rhodri Williams, Tusi Pisi, Siale Piutau.
Saracens: Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Nick Tompkins, Alex Lozowski, Chris Wyles, Owen Farrell, Neil De Kock; Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits, Vincent Koch, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Kelly Brown, Schalk Burger, Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: Jamie George, Titi Lamositele, Petrus Du Plessis, Jim Hamilton, Ben Earl, Richard Wigglesworth, Matt Gallagher, Mike Ellery.