Saracens grab draw at Scarlets

Date published: January 15 2017

A late try from Chris Ashton helped Saracens salvage a 22-22 draw against the Scarlets in the Champions Cup on Sunday.

The hosts had looked like defying the odds for nearly the entirety of the game, and Dan Jones' 17-point haul looked as though it would be enough to secure the win, but Ashton had other ideas and although it was not the record breaking 14th win that Sarries were searching for, it proves they are a team to be feared even in toughest of times.

Scarlets knew that they needed a win, and they did everything possible in the opening 10 minutes to make qualification possible, and looked as if they would be rewarded for their efforts early on with a deserved try, but the TMO ruled it out for a knock-on in the build-up.

Moments later, the hosts did manage to open the scoring, Jones slotting over from a penalty awarded at the scrum.

Saracens, looking to make it a record 14 consecutive wins in the Champions Cup, struggled their way to a reply as the Welsh side held firm, but Nathan Earle was set free after a wonderful set up from winger Alex Lozowski and touched down for his second European try of the season. 

A missed Owen Farrell conversion though meant that the hosts retook the lead midway through the first half courtesy of an offence at the ruck, and with the half drawing to a close, a third Jones penalty extended the hosts' lead going into the break and it was no less than they deserved.

The second half followed a similar pattern with the hosts frustrating their opponents before kicking from the tee, Jones putting a converted try difference between the sides with his fourth penalty of the afternoon.

However, that converted try did soon arrive for Saracens with Ashton going over in trademark style before Farrell converted to stun the home crowd.

That did not deter the hosts though, who replied almost instantly through an unmarked Scott Williams, with Jones keeping up his scoring record.

But with less than 10 minutes remaining, Farrell briefly brought Saracens back into the contest, and it was that man Ashton whose try allowed Farrell to level the scores with the last action of the game to stun the home fans into silence once more.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Try: S Williams
Con: Jones
Pens: Jones 5

For Saracens:
Tries: Earle, Ashton 2
Cons: Farrell 2
Pen: Farrell
Yellow Card: Skelton

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Hadleigh Parkes, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Aled Davies, 8 John Barclay, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens (c), 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Tom Price, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Jonathan Davies

Saracens: 15 Alex Lozowski, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Richard Barrington
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Titi Lamositele, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Tim Streather, 23 Matt Gallagher

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant Referees: Adrien Descottes (France), Thomas Déjean (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)