A dominant first-half display from Saracens was enough to secure a comfortable 30-13 victory over Racing Metro on Saturday.
A dominant first half display from Saracens was enough to secure a comfortable 30-13 win over Racing Metro in a historic Heineken Cup clash in Brussels on Saturday.
The London club are playing a host of home games in across Europe and made history at the King Baudouin Stadium by becoming the first team to stage a European encounter in Belgium.
After Olly Barkley and Charlie Hodgson traded penalties in the opening ten minutes, Chris Wyles scored the game's first try on his 100th appearance for the club thanks mainly to a strong run and offload from hooker Schalk Brits out wide.
Sarries were playing by far the more enterprising rugby and, after another period of concerted pressure just before the half-hour mark, Steve Borthwick thundered onto a flat pass from Neil de Kock and powered through former team-mate Barkley to score.
And the nomadic Londoners were unfortunate not to add to their two tries late on in the first half as the backs continued to look dangerous and Racing had Bernard le Roux sent to the sin bin but they had to settle for a Hodgson penalty to leave the score 20-3 at the interval.
Hodgson edged Saracens further in front at the start of the second half but Racing suddenly sparked into life on the hour mark as Juan Martin Hernandez launched an attack down the right flank and exchanged passes with Masinivanua Matadigo before flicking the ball inside to Juan Imhoff to score.
Fabrice Estebanez slotted over the conversion and replacement Gaetan Germain added another three points with ten minutes remaining to cut the deficit to ten points but that was as close as the Frenchmen could get.
Saracens sealed victory late on through Will Fraser after Hodgson took the ball flat and burst between two defenders before offloading to the flanker to crash over.
The English side pushed hard for the bonus point try in a frenetic final few minutes but they came up short and had to settle for just the four points from their home game in Belgium.
Tries: Borthwick, Fraser, Wyles
Cons: Hodgson 3
Pens: Hodgson 3
For Racing Metro:
Pens: Barkley, Germain
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Owen Farrell, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Carlos Nieto, 19 Alistair Hargreaves, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Joel Tomkins, 23 David Strettle.
Racing Metro: 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Benjamin Fall, 13 Mirco Bergamasco, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Bernard le Roux, 7 Jacques Cronje (capt), 6 Antoine Battut, 5 Francois Van Der Merwe, 4 Karim Ghezal, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: 16 Benkjamin Noirot, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Fabrice Metz, 20 Julien JanÃ©, 21 Masinivanua Matadigo, 22 Sebastien Descons, 23 Gaetan Germain.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
Television match official: Derek Bevan (Wales)