Saracens put 50 past Bath

Date published: March 26 2017

Saracens kept up the pressure on Wasps and Exeter at the top of the table after thrashing Bath 53-10 at Allianz Park on Sunday.

Both sides were boosted by the presence of several returning internationals from Six Nations duty but in the end, Sarries got better as the game progressed and eventually outscored their visitors by a whopping seven tries to one with Chris Ashton scoring two of those for the hosts.

The win means Sarries are now just one point adrift of Exeter Chiefs, who are in second place, while tabletoppers Wasps are six points ahead of the champions after their win over Worcester Warriors earlier on Sunday.

Bath, meanwhile, are still in fifth position and this result was their biggest Premiership defeat in 15 years.

Sarries made a superb start and their early dominance was reewarded as early as the fourth minute when Jamie George crossed for the opening try from a lineout drive deep inside Bath's 22.

The home side continued to dominate and after Maro Itoje stole a ball at a lineout, Sarries launched another attack which was eventually rounded off by Alex Goode.

Bath struck back via a George Ford penalty midway through the half and they were back in the game when Anthony Watson crossed for their only try in the 26th minute after Taulupe Faletau and Jonathan Joseph laid the groundwork in the build-up.

Shortly beforev half-time, Ford failed to gather a kick from Goode close to Bath's try-line and Sean Maitland pounced on this error by diving onto the ball behind the whitewash which gave a Sarries a 17-10 lead at the interval.

Saracens were fastest out of the blocks after the restart and soon held a 10-point lead thanks to an Owen Farrell penalty. The next 20 minutes was a slugfest as Bath tried to narrow the gap but they failed badly in the final quarter when Sarries showed why they are the champions when they stepped up several gears on attack.

The dam wall eventually burst in the 60th minute, when Schalk Brits scored from a driving maul close to Bath's 22. The try was a significant one for the Springbok hooker as it was his 23rd try which equals the Saracens record for the most tries by a forward which he shares with former back-row Tony Diprose.

That score secured the bonus point for the hosts and seemed to knock the wind out of the visitors sails as three minutes later, Brad Barritt crossed for his side's fifth try after good work from Billy Vunipola and Michael Rhodes in the build-up.

The match was much looser now as Bath had raised the white flag by then but Sarries were far from finished. 

Brits did well to draw in a couple of defenders before offloading to Ashton, who dived over in the right-hand corner in the 70th minute before Billy Vunipola powered his way over the try-line from close quarters five minutes later.

And five minutes before the end, Ashton intercepted a wayward pass from Ben Tapuai before crossing for his second try which sealed an emphatic win for his side and also took them past the 50-point mark in the process.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
George, Goode, Maitland, Brits, Barritt, Ashton 2, B Vunipola
Cons: Farrell 5
Pen: Farrell

For Bath:
Con: Ford
Pen: Ford

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Titi Lamositele, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Kelly Brown, 20 Joel Conlon, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Duncan Taylor

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford (cc), 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Francois Louw (cc), 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nathan Catt
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Beno Obano, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Paul Grant, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Tom Homer

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Tom Foley, Paul Dix
TMO: Graham Hughes