Saracens go three from three

Date published: September 17 2016

Saracens made it three wins out of three in the Premiership as two second-half tries helped them overcome Northampton 27-12 on Saturday.

The first-half was a full-blooded affair with both sides putting in huge defensive shifts leaving try-scoring opportunities at a premium. 

Louis Picamoles' display in this half was a particular highlight as Saints put the champions under severe pressure.

The sides went into half-time level and Stephen Myler's boot edged Saints into a lead early in the second half.

However, the match was swung when the visitors' Alex Waller appeared to strike Jamie George in an off the ball incident, resulting in a yellow card.

Sarries reacted to their man advantage in typical fashion as George turned protagonist to take advantage with a try.

Saints also conceded a penalty try during this period as they succumbed to pressure from their indomitable hosts.

Alex Lozowski notched two late penalties for the home side as they made sure of victory to maintain their 100 percent start to their title defence.

Saints made a great start and were rewarded with an early lead when, in the fifth minute, they were awarded a penalty allowing Myler to kick the game's first points.

Sarries levelled things up with a penalty from Alex Lozowski in the ninth minute. Sarries' back-up fly-half added another penalty to the scoresheet with a great strike on 18 minutes.

In the 24th minute the hosts were penalised at the breakdown, affording Myler the chance to restore parity to the scoresheet and he took it well making scores 6-6 with a good kick in strong wind.

Northampton took the lead once more on the half-hour mark, Myler sending the ball through the posts for a 6-9 lead.

A fantastic strike from the tee by Lozowski meant that the sides went into the interval tied up at 9-9.

With 10 minutes of the second half played Myler added his fourth penalty of the match to make the score 9-12.

After 55 minutes, Waller was sent to the sin-bin for an off the ball strike on George. Saracens capitalised almost instantly with a try from George who raced round the corner to score. Lozowski missed his conversion to leave scores at 14-12.

With Waller's spell in the bin in its dying seconds, Saracens were awarded a penalty try after their rolling maul was pulled down on the line by the visitors. Lozowski converted to make the score 21-12.

Lozowski added two penalties in the final 10 minutes to secure a 27-12 victory for the hosts.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: George, Penalty Try
Cons: Lozowski
Pens: Lozowski 5

For Northampton:
Pens: Myler 4
Yellow Cards: Waller (56 mins), Dickinson (71 mins)

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Kelly Brown, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Sean Maitland

Northampton Saints: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Teimana Harrison, 6 Tom Wood (c), 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Campese Ma’afu, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Jamie Gibson, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Harry Mallinder, 23 Ben Foden

Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick, Roy Maybank
TMO: Trevor Fisher