Bonus-point win for Saracens

Date published: January 16 2016

Saracens made it five wins out of five in the Champions Cup this season as they saw off Ulster, prevailing 33-17 at Allianz Park on Saturday.

Owen Farrell produced a man of the match performance, kicking two conversions and three penalties and having a hand in much of the hosts' attacking play.

The home side started the game in determined mood, as Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje took the fight to Ulster, and Saracens were in front on three minutes thanks to Farrell's first penalty goal of the afternoon.

But it was the visitors who took the lead with the game's first try. Luke Marshall collected Jared Payne's kick to score and Paddy Jackson's conversion made it 3-7.

The hosts found a quick response and immediately went on the attack, but they were forced to settle for another Farrell penalty, which reduced the deficit to a single point.

Farrell hit the post with a further attempt and the Ulster defence held firm, until three minutes before half-time, when Vunipola scored from the rolling maul. Farrell's conversion made it 13-7 at the interval.

Jackson's penalty goal five minutes into the second half made it 13-10, but Farrell restored the six-point advantage with another penalty of his own.

The crucial score for Sarries came on 52 minutes, when Duncan Taylor followed a Farrell break to stroll over. The conversion was missed, making it 21-10 with 25 to play.

Itoje took the contest further away from Ulster on the hour when he finished in the corner following dominant play in the forwards.

And the points flurry continued minutes later when Schalk Brits broke from 20 metres out to score. Farrell converted the latter score to make it 33-10, and though an Ian Humphreys interception earned Ulster a consolation try, it was not enough to make Sarries sweat for their victory in the closing stages.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: B Vunipola, Taylor, Itoje, Brits
Con: Farrell 2
Pen: Farrell 3

For Ulster:
Tries: L Marshall, Humphreys
Con: Jackson, Humphreys
Pen: Jackson

Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Nick Tompkins.

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Rory Best, 1 Kyle McCall.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Clive Ross, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Rory Scholes.

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant Referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Mathieu Noirot (France)
TMO: Gilles Cogne (France)